Half agony, half hope.

10/14/2012 The Lady 2 Comments

Hello ladies,
The week before school started, I met a boy (Mr. Perfect) who lives across the hall from me. He is cute, funny, motivated, and a recently returned missionary. I felt chemistry between us, so I actively started pursuing him. 

When he came up to school, he wasn't looking for a girlfriend. He just wanted to date around since he had barely returned. I worked pretty hard to convince him otherwise. Our rooms became good friends and we started doing a lot together. Then we hit the wonderful landmarks of holding hands and (gasp) kissing. We were couple-like in public and everyone knew we were together. The only thing that we were missing were the "girlfriend" and "boyfriend" titles. I knew that because of his state of mind coming up here, I was going to wait for him to decide to make that happen.

Two days ago, he took me on a drive. I pretty much knew what was coming, and I was ready to accept his request. All was going well when we pulled into a 7-11.

*side story*

Last year I had my first real boyfriend/love. We had a tradition of always going to 7-11's and getting hot chocolate. Once he broke up with me, I struggled with going there because it held such strong memories. I'm pretty over that, but I hadn't gone to get hot chocolate there since. 

*end of side story*
Mr. Perfect pulled into a 7-11 and said, "Lets get some hot chocolate!" Suddenly I had tunnel vision, and I couldn't think clearly. Our date became a replay of dates I had with my ex, and I was in shock. We continued to drive, and he almost immediately brought up how he didn't feel the need to wait anymore to make me his girlfriend. I was still in a daze from the smell of the chocolate, and I couldn't think straight. Instead of reacting like I should have: "Ohmygosh! I feel the same way! Make me yours!", I sat pretty quietly and simply smiled at him. We preceded to have a really weird conversation where I basically voiced any doubts I have ever had in my life, and the only thing I said concerning him was "I want to date you."

When we got back, I went into my apartment and cried. I had been hit by a billion memories at once and I knew I was going to pay the price. I knew he was confused, and I just prayed that when I got to talk to him the next day, that I could fix it. I hoped he would understand what had happened.

The next day (aka yesterday), my world came crashing down. I came back to class and noticed that he was acting strangely, so I asked him to talk. I explained that last night I had freaked out over something that had nothing to do with him. I apologized and told him that I am sure about what I want with him. I said that I know he must be so confused, and that I wish I could take back whatever weirdness happened the night before.
He said that he was 100% sure about making me his girlfriend that night, but that my reaction really confused him and now he needs time. He said now we can be "really good friends" and that he does think it is possible for us to reach relationship-dom again. Nevertheless, he made sure to say that it is easier to lose trust then to gain it. He also said that he gets to hold my hand first.

I agreed with these terms and expressed how grateful I am for him in my life. I also told him how I feel about him. We hung out that night, and he still made an effort to be by me. He still mentioned meeting parts of his family, and he suggested things that we should do. He also touched my leg and let me lean on him. This gave me hope, but I am still so scared about the future.

My heart was broken, and I have rarely been this angry with myself. I can't believe that one random mood swing could put us so far back. Now that I have half lost him, I realize how much I need him. I am so scared that he will now look to find someone else.

Do you think that it is possible to go backtrack in a relationship then move forward again? Do you think this is fixable? Have you ever had a similar experience? What can I do to regain his trust and win him back? I really need your help.

A fellow player in the game of love,
Anguished Aggie


Dear Aggie,
In response to your questions, "Yes." This is fixable and I have had similar experiences. 

But first of all, allow me a titch of clarification. 

Whenever we receive emails like this begging for our help, and especially when I have the opportunity to respond to them, I tend to ask myself, "Why? Why do these girls (and some men) think that we have any idea as to what we're doing?" If any of the Anti-Austens were dating experts, we would all be married, and probably have started a business because we've finally discovered "the secret." But I've come to discover that there is no secret, and there are no rules in the game of love. 

Perhaps I only speak for myself, but I find it quite pointless to accept advice from others about love, particularly if they do not know you. You are the only one who knows your own heart and your own personality and your own intuition, so do not undermine that. It, more than anything I could say, will help you to know what you should do. Whenever I have accepted the advice of others in my own love life, it has tended to be the exact opposite of what I felt I should do. I am easily persuaded and therefore have gotten into all sorts of trouble because I chose to act on others' expectations rather than on my own desires. 

My own dear friend, Miss Smith, is particularly helpful. Whenever I ask her advice, she will give me her opinion and then ask me, "What do you want to do? Or what do you feel you should do?" It is the best advice I have ever received, and it always leads to the best outcomes. 

Now that I have thoroughly undermined my own authority, allow me to cut to the chase. 

I view your situation as a minor blip on the way to a relationship. Often, those prove to be helpful because it allows you the clarification you need in order to know what it is you want. Now all that remains is for you to be completely honest with Mr. Perfect. Tell him how you feel and tell him why you freaked out. 

Also, I think it would be helpful for you to face your own heartbreak. Don't let it plague you. If you do, you'll have to move out of state every time you break up with a guy because the memories of the hot chocolate or the movies or the park or the frozen yogurt place will just be too much for you. I know it's hard, but you can't let it rule your life. For the longest time I couldn't drive past the taco shop where Dex and I used to go or watch Pride and Prejudice because it was his favorite movie, but I had to face the fact that I loved those tacos and Pride and Prejudice, and no mere memory was going to completely disable me. (Kind of strange how important tacos can be in a girl's life).

But no matter what, do what you want to do and what you feel is right to be done. That is the only dating secret I have, and it's the only one that has brought me any sort of results. 

Con Amor, 
The Lady

P.S. Please do not think that I was
discouraging your emails to us. As
useless as our advice may be, we 
thoroughly enjoy the challenge and 
the entertainment. 

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Anonymous said...

I think that as long as you are completely honest with whoever it is you're dating, you have nothing to worry about. It was very good of you to come out and say that there was something bothering you, and perhaps something that you are having trouble letting go of.

This happened to me recently, actually. I went on a blind date with a guy and it actually turned into something! We continued seeing each other more, and I really liked him, and could see myself dating him.

However, there is a man who I have loved since I was 13, who is 21 and preparing to go on his mission a little later than normal. We are best friends. He was my first kiss. I spent so much time with him. As things looked like they were getting more serious with this new guy, I knew I needed to talk to my best friend and once and for all have him tell me "no, I don't want to date you. I have no feelings for you. You need to move on from this."

However, this was not the response I got. I got a "I really like you. You're my best friend, and I'm attracted to you and I'm so glad that I can do anything around you and say anything to you without being judged. But, I can't date you, even though I want to.... I can't have anything else keeping me from going on a mission. I think you should date this guy if you like him." And we haven't spoken since.

This was really confusing for me, and it caused me to take a step back with the new guy. I told him everything that had happened and how I needed time to figure things out and let go of some things from my past that were holding me back. Key words: I TOLD HIM. You've been honest with him, and that's all you can really do, my friend.

He has allowed me time to sort things out and has been SO patient with me. We aren't steadily dating yet, but we're back on track. I think that it's true....you have to decide if this is what YOU want. This could very well shake you up as much as it's shaken him up. Additionally, if he is going to let this one thing screw up something that could be awesome, you can do better. You deserve someone who can be understanding of your feelings.

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