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Should I spend platonic time with the guy I'm infatuated with?

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Hi Mark,

A very complicated issue… I have always been prone to infatuation and have suffered chronic insecurity when it comes to love, but I have done enormous amounts to overcome those feelings.

Last year, I fell very heavily for this guy, who for various reasons said he did not want a relationship. After 'mucking around' with him for a while, I took the courageous step of walking away because he could not give me what I want (a loving, nurturing, caring relationship – what we all want!). And it broke my heart and took me a long time to get over. (One therapist has even told me I am attracted to him because I think love should be hard work! – a sentiment that did ring true, given my family history of an unloving mother/alcoholic father).

So, here we are in the new year, I am slowly forging my own life, and then we had a bit of a re-connection – a couple of two-hour phone calls that felt like five minutes, then a casual chat, etc. – but we talked about working together on a publishing project…

So, my problem is, I clearly still have strong feelings for this guy (and yes, he knows and does not reciprocate, but he certainly likes me), so do I take the risk, spend time with him (which I know will be purely platonic because that's my boundary now), get to know him, and maybe take him off the pedestal I have put him on, or do I protect my heart and stay away and move on?

He is shy/reclusive/elusive, nearly always waits for me to make contact – game playing or just as scared?!

This question was submitted by 'Mez'

mark tyrrell

Mark says...

Hi Mez and thank you for writing in.

It may be that it is this man's very elusiveness and unavailability that makes him so attractive to you, as it fits the pattern of early relationships for you. But it's a faulty pattern and you need a new pattern that actually works. And you recognize that.

When you say you had a 'bit of a re-connection' with him, who, I wonder, made that re-connection? You mentioned that he nearly always waits for you to make contact. I'm wondering whether it was you who made contact again after walking away from him.

I think you should move on. Love and the types of love are wonderfully kaleidoscopic and you will find a man who is interesting enough to you without being unavailable. But you need to give a relationship like that a chance to grow and blossom.

Trying to do what doesn't work with someone who is not willing is always going to end in pain. A moth will come up against the flame again and again and eventually get burnt. Fortunately, you have much more free will than a moth! : ) We are all very good at kidding ourselves: "I'll finish this chocolate bar – just to be polite or to make things tidy." Rationalizations are great at giving us permission to do what may be really against our true best interests. I'm wondering whether this 'publishing project' is a bit of an excuse for contact. If it is, you need to be honest with yourself about that.

I think you need to move on, because it doesn't sound like you want this guy as just a friend. You ask me if I think he is game playing or just scared. Either way doesn't make him a good bet for you. You said it yourself. You broke away because he couldn't give you a caring, loving relationship. That's what you need.

There is a real man and a real relationship for you, but the longer you spend looking down dead ends, the longer it will take to get where you want to be – where you really want to be, that is.

All best wishes to you, because you deserve better than the conditioning of your past and you can do better.

Mark

watch icon Published by Mark Tyrrell - May 25th, 2015 in

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