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Unrequited Love
June 7, 2000
11:34 pm
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ellie
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I heard about your site at DreamLife.com at it seems like a great place to help me sort out a recent pattern I have discovered about myself and relationships with men. I am a fairly attractive and intelligent 34 year old professional. I dream of one day of being married (I have never been) to a loving, talented and intelligent man. Nevertheless it seems I never attract those or if I do, I fall in love with them but they don't love me back. I have had several men fall in love with me, actually even want to marry me, but I am not in love with them - or at least not that way. Recently I fell in love with the most wonderful man I have met in several years. But after several months of volunteering together, I know he is not in love with me. I am willing to accept that, the challenge is in how to get over the loving feelings and hopes for a relatinship with him that have experienced all this time. Does anyone have any suggestions?

June 7, 2000
11:43 pm
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Spirit
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How can you tell it's love? Is it a desire to get to know that person for who he is, faults and all? Sometimes when we are wanting something to happen we create feelings that aren't real. When it is time, the feelings will be real on both sides of the fence. Not one sided, unrequited love. Hang in there. It will happen in its time...

June 8, 2000
2:38 pm
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ellie
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Dear Spirit - Thank you so much from jumping right in to provide assistance in my situation. In perusing the other threads to see if anyone had already discussed a situation like mine, I read many of your responses and I think they are very much on the mark. Your response to my post is no different. With just the few questions you've posed, I find myself with loads information and feelings to sort through. I've tried to be as precise as possible for the sake of space and readibility here but it's still a bit long: so bear with me. How can I tell it is love, you ask? I'd love to write in how many ways I know that it is. When I am in this man's presence, I feel so nice and so present in the moment. My whole world melts away, my heart wakes up like it hasn't in a long time, and my walls come down. I feel a connection to him that comes from inside and without the need for any words we just are. I am comfortable around him and I trust him. That was probably what most surprised me at first - I trust him. I've never met a man whole enough and with sound values that I would want to trust him. While we volunteered closely together for a period of 3 months, he brought to my life: joy, truth, peace and comfort, just by being who he was - the very things I have placed as criteria for ever involving myself in a committed relationship again. I am a believer that actions speak louder than words and that being respectful and valueing someone lies in my ability to respond to their actions sincerely. And his actions seemed to indicate to me that he might have sensed the same feelings for himself. Until recently. We have once again found ourselves in a volunteering situation and I have seen his actions change, no longer indicating that the connection is still there - at least not as strong. Having shared all that - I am willing to consider that what I experienced is not love but more what you suggest - a desire to get to know that person for who he is, faults and all. I am willing to accept that and see what that perspective does for my situation. If I consider that what I experienced was a desire to get to know him and not love yet - then I have to assume that his new actions most recently indicate that is exactly what's happening right now...I'm getting to know him better. Might not be how I want him to be (in "love" with me), but it is genuinely what/who he is. But without an explanation for the change - it is difficult for me to figure out where to go from here and what to do with the old feelings and connection that used to be there - how to accept that they won't evolve further. His actions/signals get mixed up in me. Your insight about "when we are wanting something to happen we create feelings that aren't real" is particularly poignant in this situation. Our "volunteering" IS the business of "creating feelings that aren't real" - it's acting in community theater. We are both new at this and chose it as a path that would sway us away from old broken relationships. The first project for us was in a scene as husband and wife and I have to say it was not hard at all to fall into those roles as in real life. I think because it is something we were each working on or longing for - him divorced and me with a broken engagement. The newest project has him as the love interest to an older woman and me in the backstage crew. In acting one builds characters and makes them believable by drawing from your own life experience. That's what I love about acting: it gives me a chance to see aspects of my life from a different vantage point (that of the character) and shows me a lot about myself. Very healing. For that reason, I want to believe that what we experienced in our roles as husband and wife was based on possibilities for who we are in real life. I've heard him talk about that scene and our work together to others since its completion, but he makes it sound like it was homework, just part of the job. It wasn't for me - it's who I was, dressed up in a different body (the character's body). I am still the same I was then and I show it in my caring and friendly actions towards him that I still feel that connection. What I am missing is that he doesn't acknowledge it or say conclusively what it means to him. Not in ways I can understand, anyway - and Lord, I WANT to understand. Spirit - thank you for your vision that when it is time, the feelings will be real on both sides of the fence and it will happen its time. If your nickname has any pull up there - I hope heaven hears you. I know I would make a wonderful wife and mother some day and it will be possible for me to share and pass forward to the next generation everything that I have gracefully accepted from life all these years.

June 14, 2000
8:03 am
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ellie
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Spirit - Thank you for your kind wishes once again. Since my last post he has provided me with what I missed: acknowledging the connection we experienced and saying conclusively what it means to him.

Last week, we had the oportunity to talk privately. He acknowledged our connection by saying that he held it close to his heart, just as I did, but that while he is very comfortable with being friends he simply does not know what to do about anything more serious. That he is very confused when it comes to that and suspects that he will never be ready for something serious after his first wife. He also said that while he always sees everyone as fundamentally good people, as time passes people show him they are not so good or they are even better and that his experience of me is that I am better than most: kind, sensitive, very intuitive, and caring. He even gave me examples of how. I told him he has made me feel more special that I ever thought possible and I miss our connection when he is not there. But he has begun dating an old friend of his although he claims not to know where it is going.

If I approach this logically, and not from my heart, I have to let this wonderful man go and treasure what we experienced as a gift. Maybe a mental equivalent of what I am capable of feeling but not anything else. And that is so very hard: why wouldn't any one want something so wonderful in their life? Are we that screwed up? Once again, I find myself asking for coping mechanisms. Can you suggest any?

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