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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all,

So let me start off by giving you all some context. I am a 26-year-old female ENFP who was recently in a Friends with Benefits relationship with an INFJ male (I'm pretty certain he's an INFJ) who is just shy of 19 years old. We were coworkers. We became friends rather quickly due to common interests and talked almost every night after that. I struggle with anxiety and depression and he was extremely supportive, reminding me of everything that was good about me and even offering hugs. After awhile, I became sexually attracted to him and he to me. It became quite clear that he had a crush on me, though he never actually told me. I was merely attracted to him and a think I had a slight crush and at one point, the sexual attraction became too much to handle and I knew, despite my struggling with the age difference, something had to give - though I knew whatever happened would be temporary as I was planning on moving out of state in the summer.

A little background on him - He had a rough childhood. His mom had him as a teenager and left him with his dad while she wanted to "live her life". His early childhood years were spent with his father. His mom came back into the picture when he was in 4th grade (I think...) and she regained custody of him. She was emotionally abusive, emotionally neglectful, and did meth. I've recently learned from a mutual friend that she was a professional dominatrix and my ex-FWB probably doesn't know this. His mom had a daughter (his half-sister) who grew up struggling with behavioral problems. He talked about how his home life was sometimes too much for him to handle, so I had offered him a place to stay. He accepted. I had told him that sometimes, I drink at night to unwind from the day and if anything happened between us, there were no strings. We had to keep it casual, as I was moving. He said "I think I'll live," as a response, and agreed to/saw no issue with no strings. The first night he was over, we got drunk and made out. We ended up sleeping in the same bed, that night, but didn't have sex until a week later, when he finally brought the condoms.

As a partner, he put his best effort into sex, always asking how he could better pleasure me. I remember him being the sweetest person if I had an anxiety or depression episode. He would either sit near me or lay over me. Once, he offered to give me a massage, a couple of days after I had given him one. He even brought me my ice cream out of my freezer (I never even asked him) and sat down at my knees - it's kind of funny, he reminded me of a pet dog, sometimes. I distinctly remember telling him a story about this time when I was restrained on a bed by this male assistant to a psychologist when I was undergoing therapy for OCD in a hotel room and my ex-FWB held me tighter after hearing that. I seriously am on the verge of tears typing this...

Anyway, we had sex 5 times in a period of two weeks, but our sexual relationship technically lasted about 3 weeks to a month. Our friendship developed about two months prior. He came over almost every night, save for a few days. I made him dinner, we watched movies, we went hiking - we spent a lot of time together. We had very interesting sex and we even did things he's never done before, sexually, and some of those things I hadn't even done, but wanted to try for a while. It was beautiful, creative, and aesthetically pleasing - he even told me I "raised his standards" in sex (lol). I'm pretty sure I was the first person he had sex with that much, consecutively. Then, my parents had to come stay with me for a while to help me move, so we agreed it would be best for him to not to come over anymore, but we still talked.

A few days after my parents came, my supervisor called me in to chat. She had heard that my ex-FWB and I were hanging out from another staff member (I'm in a higher position than him, so that's why she questioned me). I told her nothing was going on between us (our FWB relationship was a secret). I had a great deal of anxiety around this meeting so my ex-FWB suggested we get our story straight if he was asked anything. I asked him to meet up after work and I picked him up and we drove to a secluded area to talk. I was on the verge of being an emotional wreck - this was the most anxious I've been around him. He did his best to reassure me. I told him I prayed that he would get everything he wanted and needed out of life. Then the depression set in as an aftershock of the anxiety and I told him I wondered if I should even be alive. He held me and wiped my tears and soon enough, we were making out then having probably the most passionate sex I've ever had in my life - and it was in the backseat of my car. Just the way he was touching me, kissing me, and comforting me felt like there was emotion tied to it, like he was making love to me. After the sex, he was rather quiet on the drive home, but still kissed me deeply when I asked for a kiss before he walked up to the door.

The next morning he apologized for being "cranky" as he was super tired, though I never perceived him as being cranky. I asked him if he wanted to hike with me and a friend that weekend and he told me that he needed to have some time away from people. I was concerned because I didn't know if he was hurting in some way, but he said he wasn't and that I've done nothing wrong. He said no matter how much he likes a person, he needs time to himself to focus on other things. Something in me couldn't help but wonder if there was something wrong as I could tell he was withdrawing. I was fearful that something was going on. I gave him space but sometimes extended the offer of hanging out with me and others if he felt like it, but he said he had plans, so I accepted that and did my own thing. I put the ball in his court to hang out, but he never really made an effort.

One night, I found myself concerned again. I asked him to be straight up with me if something was wrong. He was adamant that we were fine. I told him how I would hope he'd be honest with me because if there's something wrong, I want to fix it. He just said he needed to recharge his batteries. I told him I would believe him. He also mentioned that he doesn't know why he withdraws sometimes and speculated it was because of a fear of driving people away. I told him I would never get sick of him and would contact him even after I moved to see how he was doing. He laughed (like "haha" on FB messenger) and said he believed me after I jokingly threatened to do something to him if he didn't believe me.

The next day, he replied to something I had sent the night before and mentioned he was late to work, that he'd been up all night. He never mentioned why. I offered to give him a ride since his mom had his car. He looked like he had been through hell: hair messy, unshaven, eyes red. Just tired. He still flirted with me in the car, kind of, like calling me a "dork" and sweetly telling me to "breathe" if I started talking too fast, but he also seemed a bit nervous - I just got that vibe.

He never asked to hang out for two weeks, though he never really did that even when we were being sexually active with each other. It seemed like I always initiated save for maybe a couple of Facebook convos that he started. I started noticing at work that a lot of the songs he played on the stereo (he's always playing music) were love themed, but I just chalked it up to coincidence.

One night, I decided to talk to him online. We went back and forth for a while and then he called me a "dork" about something again and I was all "tell me something I don't know" and he shared that he compartmentalizes emotions when he's with people. Like when he likes Person A he might like someone else at the same time and be present with each of them at different times. At first, I thought he was just speaking in general, but then I slept on it and woke up the next morning wondering if I was being used as a placeholder for someone, in a "I can't have who I really want, but she'll do" kind of way. I confronted him the next morning and he was adamant that he was speaking about past experiences, when he has had feelings for people, and apologized for the fact that I had taken what he said the wrong way. I apologized for accusing him of being a jerk.

I started becoming affected by the fact that we didn't talk like we used to. One morning, I was very depressed and drove up to the mountains. At one point I put up a Snapchat Story of me laying in the back of my car and expressed that I was feeling depressed (I'm all about normalizing mental illness) and then an hour later, I see he read my Snapchat story and he put up something of his own, a quote from the Incubus song "Drive" ("Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there.") with the filter of a charged battery. I thought it was for me, because he had said he needed to recharge his battery, but I didn't ask him because maybe it didn't mean anything.

Later that week, I saw he had posted another quote on his story, but this time it was a Pierce the Veil quote that read "hold my heart, it's beating for you anyway..." and I just became angry. I immediately assumed that he had lied to me the previous weekend about using me for a reason that goes against my dignity. The next morning I sent him a poem I wrote about how I felt and told him "Goodbye". He didn't understand. I accused him of lying to me. He told me he didn't, that he just likes posting quotes he likes (He's never posted quotes on his story before the Incubus battery one. Never. I always posted quotes, but he never did. He just started that week.) He said me jumping on him was affecting him negatively and I apologized and said it was a defense mechanism. I told him I was sorry and that I can be too much at times and I understood if he never wanted to speak to me again. There was a pause and then I said, "I guess that's it then," and he replied "You know, I don't see where I have a choice. I don't want a friendship where there's fighting." - and he blocked me and unfollowed me on every social media outlet.

Needless to say, I was devastated. I cursed myself for what I had done. I ended up writing a letter to him the following day. The letter was nothing but love. I took responsibility for my actions, sincerely apologized, and analyzed why I acted the way I did (insecurity, bad memories, fear of losing dignity) and said I would be working on it. I mentioned how hurt and confused I was that he shut me out of his life and couldn't see past my flaws but that I understood if it was hard to speak to me. I validated that we're both going through tough things and that hopefully things will get better for us. I told him I didn't regret the good things about our friendship and listed them off. I told him I didn't regret meeting him. I told him I was still praying he gets everything he wants and needs out of life, because he deserves better. I ended the letter by leaving the door open for him, saying he could contact me "tomorrow or ten years from now" if he finds the space in his heart to forgive me and restart. I delivered it to him in a bag along with a charm that said "fearless" in a card with a Winston Churchill quote on it that said, "If you're going through hell, keep going," and a DVD of a movie we had watched together that he loves that I had ordered for him for his birthday. I walked up to him at work, five days after the fight, said "I know you're not speaking to me, but I'm not moving until I right my wrongs, so here's a peace offering and your birthday present," and I walked away. I peeked through the window of my workspace and noticed that he rubbed his face with both hands and kind of laughed to himself before hiding the bag under his backpack. I don't know if he read the letter but I do know that he had been getting to work early all four days before I gave it to him, and the day after I gave it to him, he rolled in just in time for his shift, so I don't know if he was up late. He didn't acknowledge me at all that day. He pretty much pretended I wasn't there. Also, I should note, the entire week after the fight, I didn't hear any music coming out of the stereo, but I did catch him looking my way a few times.

The other day, I visited my old workplace. He still didn't acknowledge me, but I didn't expect him to. I saw him looking my way a few times, again. It's been almost three weeks since I gave him the letter and almost a month since the fight. Maybe it's because he's a camp counselor this summer and is super busy and can't think about the situation, but who knows. I'm still blocked on social media. I'm ready to move on with my life but I'm sad about the possibility that I may never hear from him again. I miss my friend and I wish things didn't go down the way they did.

I suppose what I'm asking is for an analysis and perspective on the situation and if there is any shred of hope for the friendship to rekindle, down the road (and without the sex), even though I'll be far away. I did all I could do to take responsibility for what I did and I tried to make things right because I really do care about him. The ball is in his court, now...
 

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Sounds like a few things but i'll try to be succinct.

1: He was drained energy wise. Speaking as an INFJ guy who actually has a surprisingly large amount of energy to use to interact with people, once I've used up that energy I'm done. Done. It doesn't matter how close I'am with the other person need time to be physically alone by myself. Taking in information from the outside world, synthesizing it, figuring out what the people means, feel and think are processes which are perpetually on as long as I'm around anyone. As you can imagine this uses up a massive amount of energy, and this is probably what happened to the INFJ in question.

Add to that that he has a job which requires him to be around people and help them for hours on end and imagine how drained he must feel. This is a trait of being both an INFJ and an introvert. Add to that, that he's been heavily emotionally invested into your well-being for months and you have a recipe for burn out. He needed time away from that and you weren't respecting that at all. Worse yet, you kept on repeatedly insisting you were the reason he was retreating to be alone when in reality he just wanted to be left alone at that point.

2: He obviously was emotionally invested into you. You put a lot of emphasis on the sex part of the relationship, but it's pretty clear he cared a lot about your well being and was there to support you. That means being there for all the ups, downs and in betweens. Most FWB have a pretty clear and well defined line of what the "friend" part actually implies and what each party expects. Saying the one night that "hey, if something happens, don't worry no strings attached" then turning around and being outraged when you thought he was sleeping with you only because you were plan B reads like hypocrisy at worst, and dishonesty about what you wanted from him.

Add to the fact that if he did care about you (which I think is highly likely) then he was probably pretty offended by what you said, specially after a rough night.

3: You essentially broke all ties with him and derided him. You had been mentioning for a while that you were leaving after a limited time, accused him on using you for a pity fuck, repeatedly told him you thought you were at fault for things, told him about your dark thoughts and on top of that initiated cutting ties with him by writing him "goodbye". You stated that he told you he didn't understand why you were doing this, and i'm sure he tried to get an answer out of you but it didn't work. So, he took his emotions compartmentalized them and decided that if you were saying "goodbye" to him after all of that then it's best for him to cut all strings for good.

What's an 18 year old kid supposed to do at that point after being in such a complex relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know. I let insecurity get the best of me. I tried to right my wrongs and I hope he forgives me. When things cool down, could he ever reconnect with me eventually so we could try being friends again, but with boundaries? Because I'm willing to.
 
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I know. I let insecurity get the best of me. I tried to right my wrongs and I hope he forgives me. When things cool down, could he ever reconnect with me eventually so we could try being friends again, but with boundaries? Because I'm willing to.
Time will tell. Forgiveness does not necessarily equal wanting to be together again.

If I were him, I'd want to be left alone for however long it takes.
 
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I've left him alone and I'm continuing to. I just wish we could be friends again. No sex. I grew to care about him too much for that.
I hope you will. Fingers crossed.
 

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I suppose what I'm asking is for an analysis and perspective on the situation and if there is any shred of hope for the friendship to rekindle, down the road (and without the sex), even though I'll be far away. I did all I could do to take responsibility for what I did and I tried to make things right because I really do care about him. The ball is in his court, now...
I'm going to try and keep this brief since your story is eerily similar to a past experience of mine with an older woman when I was around 19. Though the relationship progressed beyond an Fwb type pretty rapidly and had a lot of other elements complicating it further.

While I have moved on I would much rather not sieve through a lot of long buried past.

Personally I cannot carry out any sexual relationship on a casual level. My emotion and by extension attraction on a romantic level is intrinsically tied to my sexual component. I cannot say that this is true for all INFJ males but for me I have to actually like someone a great deal to carry out anything.

So with that said most likely he was harboring some strong feelings for you. Again I can't speak for all INFJ but if I were to insert myself into the situation it does seem that way.

Furthermore no matter how maturely someone carries out themselves and behaves the age difference and experience dynamic should always be respected. I ran into so many similar disagreements to what you mentioned. How I managed to come out of that complex experience relatively unscathed still has me surprised at times.

It sounds like you had expectations of him that were way above his age and experience. Not only that but you were challenging him to meet the emotional needs of something well beyond that of a fwb.
Meanwhile having little to no idea of where he was coming from. This is his fault as well, and I did the same thing. Shut down internally completely but carried out the facade to not drive her away.

Unfortunately or fortunately the powerful emotions that he was feeling was still leaking out and it looks like he didn't know what to do about it. I wouldn't blame him, nor would I ask you to blame yourself either.

To switch back to my story, it took me a few years to warm up to talking to her again. But when we did we were both single again and when you develop a deep relationship with someone the connection doesn't just magically disappear. This time I was the one resisting because I saw us as incompatible because our motivations and what we wanted out of life were still very different.

Ultimately, it took me moving many miles away to break off the temptation. A few years later, we still talk as friends. Though never to the depth that we used to. She has attempted to of course but has lead me to berate her simply because we are no longer that which we once were.

I sincerely hope things work out better for you, though if I'm being brutally honest I wouldn't get my hopes up, instead move on and hope that time heals all things.
 

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If you ever get on my wrong side, you will never be forgiven and best believe if I am given the opportunity to hurt your prospects in life, I would not hesitate for a moment to crush you with all the emotion of crushing an aluminium can.

Luckily for virtually everybody I have come across in my personal life, it's really hard to get on my wrong side. You really have to outdo yourself to piss me off that badly. I have the even-tempered patience and tolerance of a saint. Some type of fuck shit in a relationship, like presumably what the op described (tl;dr), would never be enough for that sort of fierce reprisal from myself. I can only think of a couple of people I really despise like that and our enmity is not at all rooted in anything romantic.

Having said all that if I have resolved I don't like you and don't want you in my life, one sure fire way to ratchet up my irritation and anger with you is keep annoying and pestering me to resume contact. This happened once before, there was this person who said some things I found disgusting and I resolved I could never count such a vile, racist, right wing person as my friend, so I cut off all contact. But they kept trying to come at me like nothing had ever happened. That led to me getting very angry! Respect the doorslam and keep away, if you do that, who knows, in time I might even forgive and forget - in my own time. Force the issue and you only make things worse.
 

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Having said all that if I have resolved I don't like you and don't want you in my life, one sure fire way to ratchet up my irritation and anger with you is keep annoying and pestering me to resume contact. This happened once before, there was this person who said some things I found disgusting and I resolved I could never count such a vile, racist, right wing person as my friend, so I cut off all contact. But they kept trying to come at me like nothing had ever happened. That led to me getting very angry! Respect the doorslam and keep away, if you do that, who knows, in time I might even forgive and forget - in my own time. Force the issue and you only make things worse.
All I had done was give him a heartfelt letter of apology. After that, I said nothing more to him.
 

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I'm going to try and keep this brief since your story is eerily similar to a past experience of mine with an older woman when I was around 19. Though the relationship progressed beyond an Fwb type pretty rapidly and had a lot of other elements complicating it further.

While I have moved on I would much rather not sieve through a lot of long buried past.

Personally I cannot carry out any sexual relationship on a casual level. My emotion and by extension attraction on a romantic level is intrinsically tied to my sexual component. I cannot say that this is true for all INFJ males but for me I have to actually like someone a great deal to carry out anything.

So with that said most likely he was harboring some strong feelings for you. Again I can't speak for all INFJ but if I were to insert myself into the situation it does seem that way.

Furthermore no matter how maturely someone carries out themselves and behaves the age difference and experience dynamic should always be respected. I ran into so many similar disagreements to what you mentioned. How I managed to come out of that complex experience relatively unscathed still has me surprised at times.

It sounds like you had expectations of him that were way above his age and experience. Not only that but you were challenging him to meet the emotional needs of something well beyond that of a fwb.
Meanwhile having little to no idea of where he was coming from. This is his fault as well, and I did the same thing. Shut down internally completely but carried out the facade to not drive her away.

Unfortunately or fortunately the powerful emotions that he was feeling was still leaking out and it looks like he didn't know what to do about it. I wouldn't blame him, nor would I ask you to blame yourself either.

To switch back to my story, it took me a few years to warm up to talking to her again. But when we did we were both single again and when you develop a deep relationship with someone the connection doesn't just magically disappear. This time I was the one resisting because I saw us as incompatible because our motivations and what we wanted out of life were still very different.

Ultimately, it took me moving many miles away to break off the temptation. A few years later, we still talk as friends. Though never to the depth that we used to. She has attempted to of course but has lead me to berate her simply because we are no longer that which we once were.

I sincerely hope things work out better for you, though if I'm being brutally honest I wouldn't get my hopes up, instead move on and hope that time heals all things.
Thank you. Any insight on why he mentioned the whole thing about his tendency to compartmentalize feelings for people? The night before I first accused him of using me for an undignified reason, he told me he has different emotions towards different things and people and different personality traits depending on who he's around. In romance, he said he could have feelings for someone that are extreme and then be around someone else and have those same feelings for them - not like they're moving people or that he's ignoring already existing feelings and they don't shift from person to person, it's like they go away almost entirely in the moment. That's what made me be like, "Wait...are you using me because you can't have who you really want? I'm not a placeholder. My body is worth more than that." Like I don't even know what's up with that, but I was insecure about it. After I got on him that first time, he told me that he didn't mean it meant it was happening right now but that its happened when he's had feelings for people in the past, and apologized for the confusion.

Then few days later, I ask him how he's doing and he opens up and tells me that he's missing his best friend so much "it hurts". He never specified any thing about this friend, like if they were a man or woman, but I'm fairly certain I know who he's talking about based on comments I've seen that this woman has posted on his stuff, but she has a boyfriend and lives on the other side of the state. He mentioned that he's been friends with this person since they were three and that they don't talk as much as they used to because the further apart they are, the less they talk. I don't know what the nature of their relationship is besides being friends but I don't believe they ever dated.

Then the next morning he puts out that snapchat story that said "hold my heart, it's beating for you anyway," and immediately, I think it's about his friend, but then again I don't know the nature of their relationship except that they are friends. However, the line is a quote from Pierce the Veil's song "Caraphernelia", which is a song about someone leaving the singer for someone or something new or better (read the lyrics), so I don't know if it was about her having a boyfriend or me getting ready to move. I jumped on him again (this was the second time I did, this was when he blocked me on everything and accepted my initial apology but said he didn't want a friendship where there's fighting and blocked me on everything), making the same accusations as the previous week and he said he "just posts quotes he likes" which is bull because I have never saw the guy post quotes on his snap story like that until that week, and earlier that week, I posted those snaps on my story indicating my depressed state and he posts the "whatever tomorrow brings I'll be there" quote on his snap story with the filter of a recharged battery, which made me think it was directed toward me because he had mentioned to me that he had to "recharge his battery" when he started to withdraw. He also posted an ATLA quote a couple days later that was the conversation between Katara and Aang when Katara said basically told Aang, "I know you had to disappear, but we needed you, Aang." Or something along those lines.

I don't even know. This shit is confusing AF.
 

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Thank you. Any insight on why he mentioned the whole thing about his tendency to compartmentalize feelings for people?
I will preface again by saying that this is my personal perspective as I have no idea of knowing his motivations.

I tend to compartmentalize depending on the type of people I am with and if I know certain type will respond differently to different aspects of my personality.
It's mostly done to prevent the intensity of some emotions from being overwhelming and also so as to not alienate people.

When it comes to feelings it can be so many different things. If I find the environment for making my feelings known isn't going to work or I feel like I'm in not a good place emotionally to expose my vulnerabilities etc. Personally though if I am genuinely attracted to one person I tend to favor one for the other and force myself to not carry emotional water for more than one at a time.

Then few days later, I ask him how he's doing and he opens up and tells me that he's missing his best friend so much "it hurts". He never specified any thing about this friend, like if they were a man or woman, but I'm fairly certain I know who he's talking about based on comments I've seen that this woman has posted on his stuff, but she has a boyfriend and lives on the other side of the state. He mentioned that he's been friends with this person since they were three and that they don't talk as much as they used to because the further apart they are, the less they talk. I don't know what the nature of their relationship is besides being friends but I don't believe they ever dated.
So you don't actually know who they are? or if he is actually harboring feelings for them?

I mean I've lost many a best friend. It's tough especially if its a deep connection and its usually the case that they know me better than the average friend.
It is also painful and takes a while to recover afterwards.
And by lost I mean they moved away or I moved away or we just chose different paths in life. Either way once the communication breaks down it hardly ever becomes recoverable to the same level of friendship that existed.


Then the next morning he puts out that snapchat story that said "hold my heart, it's beating for you anyway," and immediately, I think it's about his friend, but then again I don't know the nature of their relationship except that they are friends.
Ha. Pierce the Veil, Incubus and ATLA. He has great taste.

Honest question though, does it matter at this point if it was about her?

You've made it clear about what you were looking for in the FWB and that you are no longer available.

I mean people find long distance relationships incredibly difficult, long distant friendships aren't any easier in my opinion.
 
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This is probably going to sound dogmatic, but an INFJ who is willing to go for casual sex or "FWB" arrangements has either 1) been pressured into it in some way or 2) is not in a healthy place. Or both. INFJs just don't do "casual" that well. We can try, I guess, but it doesn't stick. That's my personal experience with it. I would say that he was wanting more, even if he understood that you didn't. INFJs have a bad habit of approaching those kinds of problems with a "Meh, it'll work itself out" mindset. Frequently gets us into trouble.

INFJs are acutely sensitive to the feeling of being unwanted, to the point where we can fabricate it if it isn't actually there. You putting the relationship on a "no strings" level probably left him with the impression that he needed to keep his distance, and that's what he did. Hence the lack of initiation and disappearing for long intervals. You pressing the situation in different directions no doubt left him confused and torn, which would be why he decided to cut ties. INFJs just can't handle that many loose strings, especially when our hearts are thrown into the mix. Him being as young as he is only intensifies the hurt.

I won't sugarcoat it: just leave him be. He needs to move on, and so do you. Trying to scrap a friendship out of this -- especially when your relationship was never platonic to begin with -- will only result in grief for you both. INFJs strive for closure, and he won't get that if you don't make the decision to move past all of this. Do what's best for him.

I have confidence that he'll forgive you in time, if he hasn't already (I find that it's pretty easy to forgive past hurts once they're behind me), so don't sweat over that.
 

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Whatever you do, don't contact him. He needs SPACE. A lot of it. He got overwhelmed. The relationship got way too deep way too fast. And it wasn't reciprocal. He was the one doing all the giving. When he said he needed to recharge his batteries, he was being very honest with you.

The problem with sex, especially for women but also for sensitive men, is that it releases the bonding hormone, oxytocin. And the more you have sex, the more you bond. What I'm saying is that your relationship became more than friends with benefits, even if you are in denial. He saw that. He felt that. He was trying to deal with that. I've never personally met an INFJ who was able to do friends with benefits.

To sum up: my spidey sense says that he was:
1. Dealing with the fact that your problems were so overwhelming
2. Dealing with the fact that it was now more than a friendship, and it was going to be painful when you left.

Sex is very, very powerful. It's why societies around the world and down through time have tried to encircle it protectively with things like marriage. The reason casual sex is taboo in so many places (even with contraception available) is because people get hurt. I'm not trying to get all moral on you; I know you care deeply about other people, that's obvious. But I think you can learn something valuable from this.
 

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Ha. Pierce the Veil, Incubus and ATLA. He has great taste.

Honest question though, does it matter at this point if it was about her?

You've made it clear about what you were looking for in the FWB and that you are no longer available.

I mean people find long distance relationships incredibly difficult, long distant friendships aren't any easier in my opinion.
I don't know. The more I process this, the more I think about a quote I once heard that said "love is a choice". The more I think about this situation, the more I feel like I could have loved him in the romantic sense, which explains the anger, sadness, and even jealousy I felt when I suspected someone else was in the picture - but I couldn't tell him because then I'd risk being the fool in this situation. I mean, I did treat him like a boyfriend physically but remained somewhat more detached with him than I would be in a relationship. Thing is, because of the age gap, the imminent distance, and the fact that the time between the ages of 18 and 24 is the most paramount for personal growth, I knew the possibility of a romantic relationship working out with him was rather slim. I just wanted us to enjoy each other while we could. Down the road...I don't know what will happen. I love him as a human being so much that I want to see him happy and I'd like to witness it as his friend. I guess we'll see...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Whatever you do, don't contact him. He needs SPACE. A lot of it. He got overwhelmed. The relationship got way too deep way too fast. And it wasn't reciprocal. He was the one doing all the giving. When he said he needed to recharge his batteries, he was being very honest with you.

The problem with sex, especially for women but also for sensitive men, is that it releases the bonding hormone, oxytocin. And the more you have sex, the more you bond. What I'm saying is that your relationship became more than friends with benefits, even if you are in denial. He saw that. He felt that. He was trying to deal with that. I've never personally met an INFJ who was able to do friends with benefits.

To sum up: my spidey sense says that he was:
1. Dealing with the fact that your problems were so overwhelming
2. Dealing with the fact that it was now more than a friendship, and it was going to be painful when you left.

Sex is very, very powerful. It's why societies around the world and down through time have tried to encircle it protectively with things like marriage. I'm not trying to get all moral on you. But I think you can learn something valuable from this.
I haven't contacted him since I gave him that letter of apology and those gifts to right my wrongs and let him know the door will be open for him when and if he's ever ready to be friends again. He still has me blocked on social media. I don't know what's going through his mind right now, but as I said above, the ball is in his court...
 

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Thank you. Any insight on why he mentioned the whole thing about his tendency to compartmentalize feelings for people?
I used to have a great Kung Fu teacher. He also cut hair at a salon. Just to get to know him better, I began going there. He flirted with me, and over time, I fell in love with him. It turned out to be a really hard crush. It became very hard to work with him because of my feelings but I didn't want to drop out of Kung Fu because I was very dedicated to my learning. I bought a fancy jewelry box, lined it with a piece of silk, and put a picture of him inside. I would open it up and cry from time to time, and then I would lock it up, wrap it in a blanket, and place it in the far back of my closet. That was my way of "compartmentalizing" my feelings so that I could deal with having him as my Sifu.

Like I said, I've never personally met an INFJ who could do friends with benefits.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
This is probably going to sound dogmatic, but an INFJ who is willing to go for casual sex or "FWB" arrangements has either 1) been pressured into it in some way or 2) is not in a healthy place. Or both. INFJs just don't do "casual" that well. We can try, I guess, but it doesn't stick. That's my personal experience with it. I would say that he was wanting more, even if he understood that you didn't. INFJs have a bad habit of approaching those kinds of problems with a "Meh, it'll work itself out" mindset. Frequently gets us into trouble.

INFJs are acutely sensitive to the feeling of being unwanted, to the point where we can fabricate it if it isn't actually there. You putting the relationship on a "no strings" level probably left him with the impression that he needed to keep his distance, and that's what he did. Hence the lack of initiation and disappearing for long intervals. You pressing the situation in different directions no doubt left him confused and torn, which would be why he decided to cut ties. INFJs just can't handle that many loose strings, especially when our hearts are thrown into the mix. Him being as young as he is only intensifies the hurt.

I won't sugarcoat it: just leave him be. He needs to move on, and so do you. Trying to scrap a friendship out of this -- especially when your relationship was never platonic to begin with -- will only result in grief for you both. INFJs strive for closure, and he won't get that if you don't make the decision to move past all of this. Do what's best for him.

I have confidence that he'll forgive you in time, if he hasn't already (I find that it's pretty easy to forgive past hurts once they're behind me), so don't sweat over that.
I think we both weren't in our best place and that's probably part of the reason why we were drawn to each other. We both wanted to support each other, but the lines between FWB and Lovers were blurred. There was confusion all around. I find for me, as an ENFP sapiosexual, I cannot have sex with someone or even be turned on by someone unless interesting, solid conversation takes place that brings up commonalities. That's what happened with him - the conversation and common interest in things like music and social justice turned me on and what he had to say about these topics made me extremely attracted to him. This freaked me out a bit because I'm 7.5 years older than him and so I thought it wouldn't go any further than simple attraction, but boy was I wrong. The more he revealed to me about himself, the more I wanted to take care of him and make him happy. I spoiled him with organic, healthy, and even foreign meals that he had never even heard of just because I wanted him to have as first-class of an experience as possible. I feel like he was deeply appreciative of that and he showed his gratitude by thanking me and buying me food in return. It was the same in regards to the sex, too - I was the best he ever had, experience-wise. I knew, however, that we could only enjoy each other for a short period of time, and I was caught up living in the moment not even considering how sensitive he could be. It wasn't until he withdrew that I worried the situation was hurting him, but he denied it. I don't think he was being honest with me about where he was at and I can understand why - he feared hearing the words, "you're a wonderful guy, but we can't be together." At this point in our lives, we can't. He's about to go through the most transformational stage of his life (18-24) and I have my sights set on my own goals in life. The roller coaster would only have intensified. I really hope he reconnects with me in the future though. I do worry about him a lot and I want to see him doing well and I want him to tell me about all the good things that come about for him.
 

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I haven't contacted him since I gave him that letter of apology and those gifts to right my wrongs and let him know the door will be open for him when and if he's ever ready to be friends again. He still has me blocked on social media. I don't know what's going through his mind right now, but as I said above, the ball is in his court...
Good job. If it helps, even if he doesn't contact you, he will always care about you.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
I used to have a great Kung Fu teacher. He also cut hair at a salon. Just to get to know him better, I began going there. He flirted with me, and over time, I fell in love with him. It turned out to be a really hard crush. It became very hard to work with him because of my feelings but I didn't want to drop out of Kung Fu because I was very dedicated to my learning. I bought a fancy jewelry box, lined it with a piece of silk, and put a picture of him inside. I would open it up and cry from time to time, and then I would lock it up, wrap it in a blanket, and place it in the far back of my closet. That was my way of "compartmentalizing" my feelings so that I could deal with having him as my Sifu.

Like I said, I've never personally met an INFJ who could do friends with benefits.
That's beautiful, though. This makes me wonder if he even read my letter and kept everything I gave him...
 
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