Before I get to the core of the problem, I want to give you a little background of where I come from. As a teenager I grew up a fairly popular kid. I had people fawning over me all the time – men and women. Naturally, I didn’t know rejection until well past my late teens. When I was about 18-19, I dated this girl I was madly in love with for about 4-5 years. Eventually it ended and the end wasn’t very good for me. Unfortunately, I suffered an almost-mortal illness days after the break-up, which just contributed further to making my recovery harder. My time together with her had made me so dependent that it took me a really long time to get out of that zone and start being a confident, desirable human being again. I did eventually recover, worked extremely hard on myself and started dating the kind of women I really wanted again. Still, I was somewhat commitment phobic and bailed every time things started to move in a more serious direction again. It took me almost 4-5 years more before I actually got into my next exclusive, committed relationship.
I recently moved to a new city and the change has been kinda hard to adapt to. My (ex) girlfriend and I ended our relationship mutually since we were both moving to different cities and agreed that neither of us wanted a LDR. Having said that, this whole change caused several of my past insecurities to crop up and I found myself struggling socially again. It took me a while to make new friends and build a social circle at all but eventually I made a couple of really close friends – a girl and a guy. I was somewhat attracted to the girl but decided not to make a move on her because she had a long-term/long distance boyfriend, and in either case, I decided that her friendship was more precious to me than any foreseeable sexual pleasure. Fast forward a few days and I find out that my two best friends are hooking up. At a fundamental level I am okay with this – I don’t really care so much. I am not into the girl so much for it to bother me. The problem is that I actually share an apartment with the guy and sometimes when they hook up at our place I can hear them, which really upsets me. I also feel kind of awkward hanging out alone with them because I feel like I am just being an obstacle. Sometimes I catch myself wondering that they only hang out with me because two of us live together. A part of me knows that this is not entirely true, but a part of me that’s driven by my insecurities can’t help thinking this way. I have already had individual conversations with both of them about their equation and told them that I did not entirely appreciate the fact that they sneak around behind my back to hook up because I’d have much rather preferred that they be honest with me than take me for a fool. But I also told them that whoever either of them chooses to hook up with is none of my concern and I frankly do not care so much.
Now the core nature of my problem is that I expect a certain degree of sensitivity and discretion on their part. Both of them know that I have a thing for her, even if it isn’t a big deal. I have no intention of making a move for her now or in the future, but just knowing that the girl auto-rejected me is a confidence downer for me. It’s also not exactly like I am going through a dry spell. I manage to occasionally attract women I want to sleep with and do it too. It’s just that I feel really out of place with my two closest friends in this new city and I do not know what my place is any more or where I stand with either of them. I feel like if they cared for me, they wouldn’t put me through this awkward situation. Frankly, I don’t even know what or if I expect any kind of answer from you – I just needed to get this off my chest, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to bring this up with either of them. I don’t want to come across as a whiny little cow, but I also am kind of suffering and it has a negative impact on my overall social success. If you have any thoughts for me, I’d be glad to hear/read. I enjoy reading your columns, and most things you say make sense to me both intuitively and counter-intuitively.
Guilty As Charged