Ex-boyfriend with low self-esteem
Just over 2 years ago, a friend introduced me to a guy lets call him Dan – and we hit it off straight away. We started going out after knowing each other just a few hours and eventually fell in love. Both of us were shy, introverted and a bit geeky, and neither of us had been in a relationship before (we were 16). We became so close that we told each other everything he even told me that he was depressed and suicidal, an issue that we both found very difficult to deal with (to this day I cant hear the words carving knife without my eyes flooding with tears). I tried to help him and be there for him as much as I could, talking to him about his problems and literally begging him to talk to a therapist of some sort. Eventually he did start seeing a therapist, but after a good few sessions he was still in a very dark place. Convinced that he was going to attempt suicide (again), he ended the relationship after 20 months. Later he explained that he didnt want to me to get hurt too much if he killed himself, he thought that if we werent going out anymore and he died, then it wouldnt be as painful for me as it would be if we were still together.
I was an emotional wreck at first, spending days on end crying, but after a good few weeks I somehow managed to stomp out my feelings for him and get over it. We are now best friends and hes no longer suicidal. Ive completely moved on, I still love him but only as a very close friend. Hes told me a few times that hes still not over me, and that hed love to get back together with me except that he knows that I have moved on.
Yesterday, we were out with a group of my friends and after everyone else had left, it was just me and Dan. Dan told me again that he still wants to be with me, all I have to do is say the word and were together again, and it got so emotional that he burst into tears. I dont want to hurt him but the truth is Im happy just being his friend. Plus, I like someone else now. Theres nothing I can really do about it since the guy in question – let’s call him Conor – barely knows I exist, as I am extremely shy and awkward, and our conversations are generally class discussions and brief encounters at parties. No one knows about it but Dan, who I suspect is a teensy bit jealous but is supportive nonetheless.
So anyway, I dont really know how to deal with this, as I want to keep Dan as a friend but he wants more. I dont want to stop hanging around with him but I dont want to hurt him either. I just want him to move on and get a new girlfriend, but he gets terrified around girls and insists that no girl ever likes him. What can I do?
Love, Anonymous Me xxx
The Mookychick answer to your problem
Is Dan wanting to get back together with you hurting your friendship at all? Is it making you feel uncomfortable and not wanting to be his friend? If you think this is the case then you need to have a talk with him and explain that you got over him because you needed to – and that neither of you are in the same place (emotionally and mentally) any more.
I would explain to Dan that if he keeps telling you that he has feelings for you then it could affect your friendship with him. For him to be able to get over you I would reduce the time you two spend together, especially when it is only just the two of you. We all know it’s harder to get over someone if we see them regularly.
It’s more than likely he will be angry with you for suggesting not to hang out for a while, but it’s what you may have to do in order to give him the space to get over you. He needs to realise that you two are better off as friends and that there are other girls out there!
Although it’s not your responsibility, as a friend you may be able to find ways to help come out of his shell and start looking out more for other people as potential friends. I must stress, though, that as you are now his ex, it is not your responsibility.
He sounds like he has very low self-esteem, so he needs to work on that… otherwise he won’t believe that other girls will like him. Hope this helps.