My question is about dealing with the aftermath of confessing romantic feelings to a close friend and dealing with his rejection while not losing that friend and going the nuclear option.
Long story short, I’m a late bloomer in her early 30s with limited experience (had a first kiss and sexual experience when I was 30, only one relationship, and had sex only 3 times in my life). So, the last summer I have developed a crush on a very close friend who I knew for 2 years by that time. The problem was that he was about to leave the city to move across the ocean in 4 months. Despite of this, I still wanted to pursue a short-term relationship with him, I felt like having even a short-term intimate experience with him outweighed the fact that it’s going to be a relationship with an expiration date.
So, being a firm believer in direct communication, I asked him if he would be interested in us dating each other and I let him know that I realize that most likely it’s going to be a relationship with an expiration date and if he doesn’t feel that he is into that he shouldn’t be afraid of saying ‘no’, I can take it. He answered that he was also thinking about us dating each other but he was afraid he doesn’t have time to date someone in the next 4 months (he was supposed to travel quite a bit for work reasons before leaving the city). Anyway, he said that he will think about it. Three days later we got together for drinks with another woman who is very closest friend of mine. I couldn’t stay long and left, the next morning I got a news from her that things escalated after I left and they decided to play a variation of truth or dare game by stripping off their clothes and telling each other crazy sex things they have done (but they didn’t touch each other) and that I should have stayed that night to join them. Honestly, I felt horrible upon hearing that news, even though there wasn’t any reason. Several hours later he messaged me saying that he doesn’t have any secrets from me and I’m free to ask about his crazy sex experiences that he confessed to a friend of mine while naked, but he needs to be in the right mood, so I shouldn’t push him to tell about them.
A month later the three of us were hanging out (he still didn’t tell me those stories) and I was being playful with him put his hand on my back to have back massage. The next day he wrote me that he was actually considering having an intimate relationship with me despite the limited time we have, but because of this ‘hand thingy’ (that I didn’t ask him for his consent), he decided that he is going to change his mind. This came out of the blue (I hadn’t brought us being together since the last time I asked him) and I was devastated, had to take a sick day off work. I slowly recovered after that, but the fact that he was keeping secrets (the things he told the other friend) was slowly eating me. Several weeks before he left the city I told him how I felt about him having those secrets from me. He revealed those secrets, via a text message, not even face to face, and it felt like it wasn’t genuine.
Those secrets turned were the facts that he practiced some BDSM activities several years ago and that he was embarrassed of them. Now, here is the thing, I’m also into BDSM (never practiced but I know I want to do it), so I told him that those things he shouldn’t be ashamed of and I find them amazing and that I’m also into them. During the last week we were talking a lot about them, and several day after he left the city he said that he might be up for trying some of them with me, 1.5 months later when we were supposed to share a hotel room for a week during a music festival in another country. However, when we actually met, he felt a bit distant and irritated (I don’t know what caused it, but he was stressed looking for a job in another continent), at some point at this event he said that he prefers going for dinners with other people and not me (before that we were having dinners together and planned on celebrating New Year’s eve together at the festival). He also said that I should change my plans of visiting him across the ocean (fortunately I didn’t book my flights yet). The rest of the event was quite depressing for me.
After all of this I feel still have hard time processing what have happened (that naked night with a friend of mine after he told me that he doesn’t have time for casual sex, the fact that he was hiding his interest in BDSM while telling me that he trusts me and doesn’t have secrets from me, or his weirdly distant behavior at the festival). I feel depressed and have a hard time sleeping when I think about all of this things that happened between us the last year and I think about them almost every day. Am I overreacting and just need to get mental help? The thing is that I really value his friendship and I still keep contact with him. But sometimes I think if I should go full nuclear option? But I’m afraid of losing a close friendship with him and that doing the nuclear option and losing contact with him would do more mental damage rather than keeping a contact with him.
Thanks a lot for any feedback!
Nukes and Friends