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I feel kind of weird asking for advice here, mostly because it's something that I'm still trying to figure out in my head.

WARNING: Essay ahoy! I don't know how to shut-up... Sorry

Background information:

I am in the process of getting a divorce and finding closure from a not-so-good-very-bad-an-generally-unpleasant relationship. (Type is ESTP, but that really doesn't matter here as it was all psych/poor adjustment/personality disorder issues from his side.) Prior to that I had a not-so-great-but-not-as-bad relationship with a needy and draining ENTx. Apparently in both I had friends who were either taking bets about how much longer I would tolerate the male involved or were wondering what in the world I saw in him.

Long story short, I've only had two relationships, both were long-term, and both were unhealthy. To be honest, I haven't actually had much time as single since I really started to realize, "OMG! Guys are cute, I think I maybe wouldn't mind having one..."*fast forward a few years* Relationship 1 is 3 years long, relationship 2 starts a few months later and lasts 4 years.

Well, I've been in consistent communication with an INTP friend for the last several months and he has been privy to the ups and downs and downs and neutral points of the last year or so. We both have very similar interests and values and don't have much problem with that whole communication thing that tends to stand in the way of many NT/NF conversations. We both have our social awkwardness (I mean, really, it's kind of a given, especially since I think I test as 4w5 and he tests as 5w6 in enneagram...) but really all that means is that we both laugh at it and move on, or just change the topic of conversation completely, which also leads to a bit of laughter since it's so obvious.

Naturally this apparently leads to at least one party being interested in something more than friendship.

Problem #1 - I want my time as a young, single lady. I'm 24 and have been spending the last eight years pleasing everyone but myself. I know I'm not in a good place mentally to have a relationship and I really don't want to screw someone else over because of that. Especially my friend because he got burned pretty bad in a previous relationship. He's pretty much done with his healing bit, but I'm not, I've barely started. In a year or two or five, maybe, but not now.

Problem #2 - We're in different states. Colorado versus California, and we both have careers. Sure, we're technically mobile (he's in software engineering, I'm a psych nurse) but we also both like where we live, being near family and friends and comfortable surroundings. Someone will have to be willing to give most everything up, and right now, I know I'm not cool with that. (Have I mentioned need to heal/recover/find myself again? Cliche as that sounds.)

Problem #3 - There are several significant cultural barriers that could make things difficult or interesting depending on how they go. I'm an eclectic neo-wiccanish Buddhist who was raised in a generally Christian household. He's a Russian Jewish immigrant. I don't mind, he doesn't mind, but family, especially his since he's an only child, could mind. A lot. Some of my relatives, especially the Catholic side, could throw a huge hissy fit as well. I don't want to subject him to that, whether it's my side or his side, because there's a choosing sides thing and that's not fair. He feels similarly regarding myself, "You need to find a nice Russian (Jewish is implied as well) girl to settle down with, ______. No one else will understand you," is something he has heard most of his life from his mother.

Problem #4 - Knowing all this, I don't want to lead him on, but neither of us are really willing to say we shouldn't continue to talk and interact. Essentially that means one or both of us will hit a point of no return as far as our emotions are concerned, and that's not fair either. Well, if the relationship develops into something further that won't matter, but if it doesn't... someone is going to get hurt. Again. :sad:

How do I know all this, you might be asking. Well, we've already discussed all of this. I made a post on LJ basically saying, "hmmm... single, but getting sexually frustrated is no fun. I want a friend with benefits!" He asked me to call him later and told me that he wasn't going to mention anything for at least another 3-6 or more months, but he was interested in discussing exploring whether a romantic relationship could work between us. (That's almost exactly how he said it too, which was amusing and blunt and made me laugh.) We both came to the conclusion that it was good to discuss it and to know that the possibility was there, but that it was important for me to have the time to heal.

Only now I am very afraid that I am thinking/treating him differently, which was one of the things we both agreed would only get us in trouble. I can't undo the discussion (Oh, what I would give for a Time Turner!) but I also don't want to ruin the friendship because I'm treating him differently. I also think he has been treating me a bit differently, but that has primarily been that he has been more willing to let me be privy to his emotions/frustrations. Yay! Good. Oh... could be bad and painful though.

So, any advice would be helpful - especially for trying to ignore what I now know, working through my issues at a faster pace, and maybe even pro-con chart of Metro Denver area versus the Bay Area of California... Or anything else you can think of.

Thank you! Apologies again for the essay.... :blushed:
 
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Wish I could issue you some advice. But truth is that is that I'm in a not so unsimilar mess. I'm 26 and thought I hadn't married my ex we were together, living together, for three years. In July of 2009 my mother was diagnoset with metastatic pancrieatic cancer, they gave her 6 months to a year on the average, my mother had not average numbers. To the best of my knowledge my relationship was fine. I was very giving and even though things were not-good-but-not-so-bad I was unworried about the relationship. In sptember I decided if I ever wanted to go bridal shopping with my mother I would have to do it now. So I did. I spent a wonderful weekend going to bridial stores and found a dress I loved....so...I baught it, with help from my mom. Through all of this I had a male friend that lived in Californa, I was in Montana, that I have been close with and who was a bit a of a confidant with my life/relathionship's ups and downs. On month after buying my bridal dress my three year boyfiend breaks-up with me, asks me to move out, and tells me he pretty much had checked out of our realationship a year ago. I immediately left and went to California (my parents winter there) to spend Christmas with my parents. I feel right into my friends arms and dove head long into a relationship with him. In Feb my mother died and two weeks after that I was pressured into making a decision on if I wanted to move in with my friend or not. So I said I'd move in. I'm regretting that now. I have known this man for 12 years, he is a good friend, I love him, I do not want to hurt him. But I have not had time to mourn my last relationship, or my mother, and he is (I'm coming to find out) a very needy, dependant, in-selfsufficiant person. I need space to work out my head, my heart, and find away back to being myself, I can't do that living with someone who expects/feels like he needs to be taken care of. So I'm moving out, I'm hurting him :crying:, I don't want to but it will ruin us to stay liviing together. He needs to learn how to function on his own, he hasn't, he's always lived with someone, he needs to stop using his relationships as a measure for who he is. And I need to feel like myself again. I think we can have a chance if we split up living arangements and still see one another.

Long story short (too late). Think first. If you're close with this person and they are used to hearing your feelings. Tell them what you think and feel. The problem lies in figuring out what you think and feel. Truth in my situation I should have waited a year after losing my mom to make any decisions on anything. I should have taken it easy and picked my life up slowely, instead I felt like my life was ending and I was going to do whatever i could to make that feeling stop. Go slow. Talk to the people you trust and don't decide anything till you feel like you understand yourself. :unsure:

Guess I needed to vent some. Sorry about the length. :laughing:
 
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This is so eerily similar to how I feel it's not even funny. I could have written the same long essay as you, truth be told.

I was also in a relationship with an ESTP for nearly four years. It was extremely unhealthy, and to be honest, he was a violent person who took, took, and took...while I was hopeful and always giving, giving, giving. It was not a good combination, and I couldn't leave him because I was on a cause to help him become a better person.

I always felt that he would come around, rise above his weaknesses. I had to open my eyes and realize it was never going to happen, and that things were never EVER going to change.

For an INFP to be involved with an ESTP is almost like Mother Theresa being in a relationship with a used car salesman. That's what I walked away from the relationship feeling. No offense to any ESTPs out there. The ESTP I was with was probably a "unique" case in the fact that he was raised not respecting anyone or anything, and always tried take to advantage of everyone that he could. That's how he was raised. Not all of them are like that, I know. So no offense to decent, kind, respectful ESTPs out there!

I feel for you. I really do. And being in the same boat as you, this is the first time in 11 years that I've been single and on my own. I would like to tell you to enjoy it, because you ARE 24 and you do need this alone time to really figure out who you are and to allow yourself to find direction and a sense of self in this world. But on the other hand, I'd like to tell you to not let the potential of love & a good thing slip through your fingers. It's quite a quandary to find yourself in, and I can totally relate.

I hope someone else can give you some better advice than me because I don't know what to say about your situation other than the fact that I can relate to it.

Honestly, if I were in your shoes, I would be feeling the same type of emotions and confusion as you and would be questioning myself as well.

I'm anxious to hear what other people have to say to you...and maybe get a little insight for myself as well in the process!
 
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@nightwind - *hugs* I'm very sorry that you have had such similar experiences. An emotionally abusive relationship is very difficult to recognize and find a way out of. Sometimes it truly is a blessing in disguise when something happens that makes either one of you pack up. I am very sorry that there was so much pressure from your friend (and others?) to move in with him so soon after your mother had passed away. *hugs* That had to have been very traumatic without any of the other difficulties of discovering that living with you friend wasn't anything near what you thought or were hoping for. Just the fact that there was pressure for you to move in with him so quickly because he should have realized that what was best for him (having you around to take care of him) was not what was best for you. I hope you will be able to find the time you need to recover from the initial breakup, from losing your mother and from such a topsy turvy relationship with your friend. Good luck!

@SweetieDee

It was extremely unhealthy, and to be honest, he was a violent person who took, took, and took...while I was hopeful and always giving, giving, giving. It was not a good combination, and I couldn't leave him because I was on a cause to help him become a better person.
This. If I had sum up the relationship it would be that he demanded and I gave. Everything was like that. I'm so very sorry that you suffered through a relationship like that as well. It is so hard on the soul to ignore what's right and ignore everyone else.

Now though... like you said, I need to find some sort of balance in a situation that may not have any balance. I don't want to let something go, even if I don't have a clue what that will be or look like or anything. I like the relationship we have, and there's a possibility that it could develop into something much more and pretty darn awesome. And there's also possibility of it going the opposite direction and losing a good friend. :unsure: I think we can stay where we're at for a few months at least. I just don't know how long. I don't know how long he's willing to wait for me, or what I will feel if he finds someone else in the meantime. Well, I'd be very happy for him and supportive and think it was all sorts of lovely amazingness, but I'd also end up mourning a potential future that never happened.

I think that's where the problem lies. Even though I know I need time and that this is not where our relationship needs to be at this moment, I keep looking forward and playing the What If game. He's still here in the present, or maybe looking at both present and future, and I'm already looking forward and trying to figure out everything that's running through my head NOW by looking at it from the future.

Perhaps a better question to ask here would be, "how in the world do you knock yourself back to the present when you find yourself looking at it from the future? Hints? Suggestions? Anything?"
 
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