Looking for love in all the wrong places
I am 19 years old, go to college, and am generally doing great at school. There's this guy that I like. I've known him for almost two years now, and these last six months I've gotten to know him better. Occasionally he confides in me and we have a good time. Some days he's terrific to be around, really warm and open, and then other days he's distant and cold, and not fun to be with.
The other day he snapped at me for interrupting a conversation he was having with a mutual friend of ours. I made a comment that he didn't like but I had no idea that it would bother him. He got really mad and said to our friend, "you can either get angry or ignore her; I'll just ignore her." It really hurt me, I felt worthless, like what I say is so stupid. I later asked him why he got so mad, and he said that my comments were so sarcastic and uncalled for. I told him that my intention was not to make him upset, only to be part of the conversation.
The next day, the same thing happened, and this time I got really mad. He tried to make up, half-heartedly, but I just left and we didn't make up. Since the incident, he has completely ignored me, avoided me, even when we're in a group of friends. I want to approach him and talk, but there's never a chance when we're alone. Besides that, I'm afraid he's going to reject me and push me away. I'm really uncomfortable, because I hate being mad at anyone.
Furthermore, I like him in a romantic way, and he doesn't like me that way at all. I've been really depressed since this happened, I really wish we could at least be friends, and it hurts me that I care so much about him, and he is so cold towards me now. One last thing I should mention is that I think there's something going on between him and a girlfriend of mine, and I'm really jealous. I don't know how to handle this situation at all.
What do you think I should do? How can I stop caring so much about him? Do you think it's an unconscious self-destructive impulse to love someone and feel an attachment to someone that obviously isn't going to love me back, causing myself all this pain and self-loathing for not being able to get his attention? Please help me!
My immediate reaction after reading your story is that, at this point in your life, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. You sound to me like a loving, caring person who would like to be given the chance to care about a nice young man. The only problem is that he is not reciprocating your feelings. I become very concerned when you describe this "guy" as terrific to be around on some days, yet distant and cold on other days. It is clear that this guy has absolutely no idea what he wants. He may also have some emotional problems that even he is unaware of. Unstable people exhibit unstable behaviors. He probably knows that you like him and he is using that against you. You mentioned that you have a suspicion that he is involved with a girlfriend of yours. Is he cold and distant only when she is around as well? If he is cold towards you only around certain people and in certain situations, pay attention to what those situations are.
You are not stupid, and if anybody tries to make you feel that way, they may not belong in your life. We as human beings have choices in life. We get to choose how we lead our lives and who we get to choose who will be a part of it. It sounds to me like this guy is offering you nothing by grief. Do you want much more of that in your life? I know that getting angry with others is sometimes a frightening prospect, but it is also a part of life. Anger is an emotion that needs to be expressed, as long as it is not harmful to yourself or others. Just because he is not able to reciprocate your feelings for him does not mean that you should hate yourself. Loving yourself is the first step toward allowing others to love you. Also, if you keep vying for his attention, in the manner that you wish, you may push him away further.
Good relationships are built on trust, respect and mutual admiration. Relationships are hard work and worth every effort. There is a saying that everything worthwhile is hard work and takes time. Relationships are no exception. It sounds to me like this "guy" you are describing is very immature and unable to have any kind of healthy relationship at this time.
A way to stop caring about him is to surround yourself with positive people who like you just the way you are. Also, surround yourself with those who treat you with love and respect daily. Life is too short to have relationships with people that you don't know from one day to the next whether they are going to be nice to you or bite your head off. You might try telling yourself positive affirmations on a daily basis, or whenever you feel yourself starting to think about him. For example, tell yourself that you are a beautiful loving soul who deserves a loving young man. Write down a list of all your good qualities and qualities that you would like in a friend/boyfriend. On the top of that list I suggest that you put the following: I want a boyfriend that is going to love me back!.
In the meantime, focus on your studies and take pride in the good work that you are doing. Letting go of this young man will enable you to let somebody else in who will be able to appreciate you for what you are. Love is usually around the corner, but only when you least expect it.
This question was answered by Kasey Hamner. Kasey Hamner has a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology, a Masters of Science degree in Counseling, a Pupil Personnel Services Credential authorizing her services as a School Psychologist, and is a Licensed Educational Psychologist. She specializes in adoption related issues including search and reunion, abandonment, self-esteem, substance abuse, depression, and relationship difficulties. Also amongst her specialties are children's issues including adoption, abandonment, ADD, special education and so on. Her approach is eclectic and is adapted to suit the individual's needs.