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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I met Jared in college and we instantly became friends. He

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I met Jared in college and we instantly became friends. He is 27 and I'm 20 now. He approached me first. he was very sweet and flirty with me. He would stare at me during class. We'd hang out with each other by going to movies, beach, or having breakfast together. We eventually got involved with each other which He kissed me and touched me first. Unfortunately he said he was not looking for anything serious and was in no spot for it. I was hurt but I got over it. We were friends with benefits for awhile until at one point he said he wasn't up for the sex anymore and didn't want to complicate us, but still wanted to see/talk to me. I got really upset with him and started to ignore him. He kept saying sorry to me and I never ment to hurt you, I still wanna talk/see you. That he felt terrible. I ended up forgiving him. After 2 weeks of him saying lets be friends, he got involved with me again. Now I'm not sure what he wants with me. I tried not talking to him before but after like a week he "accidentally" called and started talking to me again. He keeps making comments about my body, saying I look good and that he loves my body. He gets distant with me or changes topics whenever I mention friends or other guys. He also keeps hugging me and kissing me whenever we hang out. During sex he keeps wanting to hold me and cuddle with me after. He'll give me advice like don't drink, don't skip class or to never put myself down because Im better then that. But he also ignores my texts sometimes and gets distant with me but always tells me sorry that he was busy. He'll randomly tell me things like oh every time I hear your favorite band and it makes me think of you. He calls me love, hun and dear. Now he was ignoring me, the last thing he said to I was ttyl but he ignored my texts 4 times over the past 2 weeks (imessages lets you see if they read your text) so I didnt text him for awhile, I figured it was whatever. Then like a day or two later he texted me early in the morning telling me good luck on your exams, I hope you do well. I did say thanks and he texted back but I didnt reply. Eventually we did talk again and i got excited because he said we'd hang out but then cancelled on me the day before, so I was very hurt that he cancelled on me because he said he just found out he had to work all day but also said he was not mean to me when I said he was being mean to me. So now im hurt and a bit sad. I feel like something is wrong with me, that im not attractive or I did something wrong and I'm not important. I keep thinking I'm not good enough because of the way he treats me. I'm sad because I really do care for him and I love talking/spending time with him and I feel like I won't find anybody else but I don't know what I did wrong for him to treat me like this. I feel like when I try to pull away he tries to rekindle things but then I feel like he manipulates me. Im not even sure if he likes me. I texted him But he was being so distant and cold with me, I texted him and he ignored me. So I decided to not talk to him anymore, but I'm starting to miss him and miss talking/seeing him and it's making me sad. I get so tempted to talk to him but I try not to think about. Do you think if I don't talk to him for awhile he'll talk to me or come back to me? Does he even like me? And what should I do so I don't run back to him like I use to? And stop being sad?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

This is the same question I answered a week ago. But of course you still miss him. And because he's always been here today and gone tomorrow, you'll never know IF or When he's going to get in touch again, unless you block him so he can't toy with you like this. It's awfully hard to get over wanting him when you think his door to you is wide open, but he just doesn't want to, or have time to, cross the threshold back to visit you again.

 

Do you see what his unreliable and manipulative actions are doing to you? You don't think anybody else will want you, because he doesn't want you more often than he does want you. You're harming yourself, your self-esteem by waiting for him.

 

But I think there's another wrinkle here in your mind. You don't want to lose him as a friend. That happens in lots of relationships, that the romantic & sexual part gave rewards for becoming pretty good friends and becoming really comfortable talking about stuff. Most young people that haven't been in very many love relationships think they can separate the friendship from the romance, since that doesn't involve sex and therefore might not be so hurtful. But your situation is even more confusing, since Jared always declared that you were "just friends," so you weren't supposed to fall in love with him. So you pretended to yourself that you didn't.

 

Well it takes a lot of calluses on your heart, from loving somebody and getting hurt, before young people (both sexes) can learn to defend themselves against falling in love, because we're not built to stay "friends" when we have lots of 1 x1 intimacy with attraction included, and especially not when you add sex. You have a healthy heart, that is built to develop love, and you don't know how to separate sex and love, even if you think you can.

 

So you're confused, because you've been told that people who are attracted to each other can be good friends, and Jared said he liked being around you as a friend. (Watch the movie When Harry Met Sally if you believe that males & females can be good friends "without the sex thing getting in the way." I conducted a research project with 2 of my Psych of Relationships classes almost 20 years ago, where 7 students interviewed 20 same sex fellow students to ask them if they thought M&F could be good friends without the sex thing getting in the way: 80% of the guys that they couldn't do that, and 60% of the women thought they could. That didn't mean the 70% of men and 40% of women thought they'd have to have sex, but that they'd have to deal with that issue one way or another.)

 

You'll need to let go of your expectation of friendship with him too--because he can't separate the two, even though you might think you can. The vast majority of around 150 research subjects interviewed in the study above were right around your age, so it's not unusual for a young woman to think SHE can be friends without thinking about sex--but not the young men.

 

Don't worry about doing the wrong thing, just because the experts online are all telling you you need to get over Jared. You'll keep yearning for him and even taking him back until it gets to be more painful to have him coming into and out of your heart than just having him STAY OUT! Most of us have to learn that the hard way at least once. So you're entitled to your innocence.

 

But don't keep hoping for a text every day, and DO things to like yourself more, that is DO things you like to do. If you're worried that you're not pretty enough to attract any other male, then meditate on your face in the mirror for 15 minutes each day for at least 3 weeks. Try to blink as little as possible, and when thoughts come to you, just let them pass on through and keep looking into your face and eyes. By the time you've "grown accustomed to your face" ("like breathing out and breathing in" goes the song), you'll know that you're pretty comfortable and pleasing to look at. So then maybe you'll be ready to give other guys chances to look at you. And when you are ready to be seen for the beauty that you are (no matter how subtle) there will be guys that are happy to see you.

 

That's all for tonight. And remember, if you want me to opt out so you can get somebody else's opinion, just ask and I'll opt out. You could easily get a lot of good advice on how to stop obsessing on Jared, because there are lots of steps we in America have needed to learn to start "getting over the loss of a love" (Title of a best-selling book for just that ("How to get over the loss of a love" Cosgrove and others).

 

You could even decide that you'll not really get over him until December 2013, or maybe November. Once you can accept that it could take you that long, you don't have to feel bad about missing him now.

 

G'nite.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How embarrassing to have you see my question again lol, but yes I miss him a awful a lot, and it kills me deep inside that I often have urges to just contact him because I don't wanna lose him as a friend or lover. So even thou you and countless others have told me thy jared will contact me again in the future, I'm still not really convinced and that scares me because I wanna believe it. I wanna believe that things will work out eventually but I'm not so sure and yes my self steem is damaged because he was very attractive to me and made me think that maybe I was attractive and it felt good. The uncertainty is killing me and I hate the waiting game
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I really know what you mean about the uncertainty--because when you keep hoping he'll contact you but he doesn't you're actually in an emotional state like Shame--awkwardness, embarrassment (if other people might be seeing you, & you're talking about it on this site because nobody here CAN see you--yet it still feels bad, because unseen "experts" like me know it's you, even though we don't know WHO "you" is).

 

Shame is an inborn basic emotion that is triggered whenever Excitement or Joy is interrupted but you don't give up on it. Since you have enjoyment with Jared, and anticipatory excitement about seeing him (which he keeps stoking when he says how much he likes to be with you), not seeing him but being uncertain if you'll see him again and when keeps you in a state of shame--and that's why you start wondering if you're unworthy of his time, or if he's toying with you, and that's what's beating up your self-esteem.

 

In fact, guys often tell each other that the way to get a girl to be like putty in your hands is to be really nice and say you'll be back in a few days, but then disappear and make them wait way longer than they'd expect. They'll hate it and they won't be able to leave it alone for their own sanity.

 

I had a male student in my relationships class about 15 years ago who wrote for his "shame-moment" paper that he had a crush on one of the most popular girls in his high school class, and one day he went up to her at her locker and asked her if she'd go on a date with him. She looked surprised, and then said "I don't know. I'll think about it and get back to you." He said that in that moment he turned red in the face and was sure that everybody within eyesight could see how embarrassed he was (probably nobody noticed). And she NEVER got back to him! He suffered so long, and of course his self confidence took such a dive, that he MARRIED the next girl that actually went out with him! (I bet he chose a girl that was shy and not splashy-pretty too--but of course he didn't write that, because he was proud to be married, at around 19-20.) ---- This story is the reason why I've written a couple of times that the best thing for you to do is to get another guy interested in you, so your gaping wound that's become an unscratchable itch gets doused with calamine lotion by being with a guy who's actually consistently there for you. (And by getting "accustomed to your face" thru looking 15min/day at your face in the mirror would get you used to feeling good about your face, so you'll know other people will feel that way too--and you already have J's testimony about the good-looks of your body.)

 

So you see, the way you feel is due to the emotions that naturally occur in your situation--not because there's anything wrong with you at all. I can't guess whether J's doing this to you on purpose or not, but it sounds like A. he knows that his intemittent appearances are working to keep you hung up on him, so he could keep on doing it, not just because it's convenient for him, but because it keeps you hungering for him; and B. he realizes that it's not good for you for him to have this secret power of you (yes, that's Victoria's Secret). But it also makes him feel powerful to have you so into him whenever he wants you to be. John Mayer sings about this kind of a "cool dude sucks in helpless maiden" soul-kidnapper relationship in "I don't trust myself" (with lovin you).

 

I will beg my way into your garden
I will break my way out when it rains
Just to get back to the place where I started
So I can want you back all over again

AND OYEAH, I just realized J is a child of divorce, since you didn't mention anything about his father. I studied the love relationships of children of divorce for my second PhD dissertation. Virtually All of them expect that love and marriage will turn out badly, so as soon as anything looks difficult or risky in a relationship, they bail out (like John Mayer above, whose parents fought and were alienated from each other before they got divorced). They always keep a part of themselves back, and they are more likely than nondivorced young adults to have another gf/bf as a backup if things get rocky and to keep such self-protective measures secret (Jared's Secret). They like to engage with sweet, naive young women, whose innocence they praise and they feel a little guilty about jerking them around. Children of divorce don't want to feel helpless in love relationships, so J doesn't touch the "L-word," he's got way too much power, and your feel the helplessness he felt while growing up

 

A 25 yr old Hungarian-American woman, engineering student had a boyfriend like that, much more deeply involved with her than Jared with you, and she figured out that he was practicing with "divorce" and "remarriage" with her (and perhaps one or two other women she didn't know about) because he'd be gone for 3-6 months and then come back. If she'd open her arms and heart to him again, he'd stay again for 3-6 months before he "had to leave." She figured that he was getting a little closer to her and to commitment each time, so letting him "divorce" her was the best thing to do--but it's not like she had much choice, except over whether to open up to him again or not. She'd already done this serial divorce thing for 5 years. That BF's mother had been married 5 times--how about Jared's mother? I saw Judy briefly around 5 years later, and her Romeo was long gone. So that didn't work. Either.

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I often if he ever did this on purpose to me as well, because at times he is very dense and doesn't seem to realize things like how upset I was because he said he was not up for the sex anymore because he didn't want to complicate us. He asked he hoped that I was not upset and I told him a little too late bye. He sent a very long apology saying that he never ment to hurt me and would still like to see me and talk to me. So does he do these things because he likes me? Or likes the idea of me? I noticed he'll send me texts that were not for me sometimes and I wonder if he does it to get a reactions from me or something, I'm thinking about contacting but I'm scared he will ignore me and plus i don't want to run back to him like you said and you said that he would contact me so I'm resisting
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

It sounds again like he's really afraid to get "involved" with his emotions, but he notices that you do get emotional. So he's like a deaf guy who knows that you hear everything, so he's worried about how things he does might sound to you, but he doesn't want to take his ear plugs out, or even know how to take them out. Sounds like he does like spending "some" time with you and he's capable of feeling guilty when he sees how hooked you are, but he's not capable of letting himself feel and letting a relationship develop. ALso like you're not going to be able to let go of wanting him to care about you until you get hurt many more times.

 

So maybe if you tell him what you really want, he'll have a chance to grow up a bit and give it to you or show you that he's way too immature to do that. So what do you want? To have him respond to every text you write within 1 day? to arrange to do something enjoyable with you once a week? and to let the sexual fun between the two of you flourish? That's really it isn't it?

 

If you really ask him for all 3 of these commitments, you'll find out what he will and won't promise. So maybe you can face the facts of what he will and won't promise. You can't take anybody else's word for what's going on, so you can get your answers directly from him. You're unwilling to ask those 3 things because you think his answers to all 3 will be "No." So you hang around in extreme discomfort, assuming the answer is No, but sometimes maybe Yes. So you're just unhappy and you feel like you're not worth enough to him, so nobody else would want you either.

 

That high school boy who asked the popular girl out at her locker and didn't get an answer, said that it was awful to be stuck in limbo, just waiting and hoping she'd get back to him, and it would have been much better if she had said NO. Then he could have gotten mad at her and been free.

 

But Jared wouldn't want to say NO to you on all three questions, because he wants to have an open door to get into your heart when he feels like it. Of course he doesn't really want to get your heart involved, so he'd like you to have a shallow FWB way of relating like he does. So you're too normal for him, too engaged physically and emotionally with anybody you touch. He's not ready for any relationship, and you're the one he keeps waiting. It's like you're paying your emotional dues to a dating service, but you rarely ever get a date, and even when you do get a date it doesn't grow into anything but just fizzles and you have to start over after each time it fizzles. Would you keep paying your dues forever if you knew you'd always be pouring your time &^ money down a rathole? Or would you ask the dating service to block out the one date you've always been given every time and hook you up with somebody else? Then ask your friends to hook you up with somebody else who's ready for something exciting, for a relationship. You've had enough of practicing with a guy who's socially retarded and hooked up to his genitals but not his heart.

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lol he's socially retared? But yeah I do want him to be sweet to me all the time and for him to be committed to me, not just as a lover/ sort of bf but as a friend as well. He use to be the guy that told me to never put myself down because I was better then that, to get over my insecurities over my looks because I look fine, and I told him that I don't see how and he said I do and thats all that matters. I do want closure in this weird relationship, part of me does want to ask the questions that your asking but I am afraid, do you think he will talk to me again? Or should I get ahold of him? Also any reason why he came up to me first and talked to me first? And why does he keep waiting and not let me go?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

If you ask him those questions he will have to answer yes or no, and that will make him take hold of you or let you go--that means he'd have to grow up. You're afraid he'll say NO or just won't answer, even in writing. But you can include in your questions that you will take no answer or an evasive answer as a NO, so he'll have to step up to the plate. You are giving him all of your power by not pinning him down with those questions. I also told you that you can discover your own attractiveness if you'll do the mirror meditation. You're actually trying to empty your mind of everything else except your face by using your face as a sole focus for your gaze. I know girls and women depend on somebody looking at them to tell them whether they are pretty or not, because my wife has struggled with knowing she's pretty for the 28 years I've known her--and she won't look in the mirror and doesn't meditate. But I learned that meditation from a woman who was a fellow grad student in my psych PhD group, and I tried it on myself, and it worked for me. (I thought my brains was all I had to offer to make myself attractive.)

 

He came up to you and spoke first because he was attracted to you, and you're too shy to speak to a guy, so you're helpless unless a guy comes and speaks to you first. So if you'll just start speaking to guys, beginning with those you're not very attracted to, so you'll get used to speaking, then you won't have to wait for the next Jared to come along. Cuz that could take months to years, unless you get lonely enough that you have to speak to guys that you know in classes. A girl who keeps silent in class and doesn't speak to anybody has a big bubble around her that makes guys think, "wow, she's scared, don't push thru her shield, cuz she might crumble--leave her alone." You have to show other people that you like to come out of your shell. Then you will meet people, including some that you're attracted to, at least once they start talking to you because you've given them a chance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying Jared won't speak to me then? :(
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i also texted Jared But didn't text me back at all until very late at night, telling me sorry I was out of town. I did not reply back thou, should I just tell him how I feel?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Yes, but don't dwell on your frustration. Tell him you want a regular relationship with him, to stop being so irregular in contacting you. You need him to be more honest with you about why he stays out of contact for so long and so often--because it makes you lonely, since it's him that you want to see.

 

[It has occurred to me that he might have work that makes him travel a lot, and even makes him unwilling to have any consistent friendships. Has he ever introducted you to any of his friends? or his mother?]

 

By asking him to be honest with you about why he doesn't see you more regularly you're giving him a 3rd option: yes to a regular relationship; no to a regular relationship, actually NO commitment to any relationship ; and #3 reasons why he can't or won't commit to a regular relationship.

 

Did you know that it's TOTALLY NORMAL for girls to get tired of anything "casual" by around month #4 at the latest? At that point they normally tell the guy "we need to talk." That's legendary, that the guys usually dread "the talk." Because the girl is going to ask "what are we doing in this relationship?" "If it's not a serious relationship, and not exclusive, then" the girl usually doesn't want to go on with it at all. So what you're doing is nothing every other girl in America wouldn't do too. You're just too inexperienced to know that.

 

But if you give him #3 option, to be completely honest with you about why he won't have a regular relationship with you, then he'll still have to grow up and face your question. He'll either pick #1 or #2, and you'll know where you're going from here, or he'll pick #3 and tell the truth or try to deceive or dodge the question.

 

You wouldn't be the first girl to have a guy dance around the bush for 4-6-8-months and then run away when you give him "the talk." But you'll have to grow up enough to start giving other guys an opening by showing them you're receptive to their interest, which you do by starting to talk to them.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry for taking long to respond, I ended up talking to Jared all day Monday. We were suppose to see each other on Thursday, I was going to tell him how I feel in person but he canceled on me, saying that he had to cover for someone at work, telling me that he was so sorry and that he was sad. I admit I was a bit upset but I let it go when he said he will hopefully find another time soon to see me, he hasn't introduced me to his mother, but I was introduced to some friends of him when we ran into to them at the movies. During our chat on Monday, he told me that he was actually very shy which I didn't know, then he said but with you I'm comfortable. He also surprisingly remembered my birthday and told me how much he wanted to go to Ireland. It also seems to bother him a lot when I tell him he is being mean to me.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

That's really nice that he's opening up about his shyness. Being a full time computer worker can easily keep a guy from learning much about life and love for a long time. So he may not be much more experienced than you are.

 

Instead of saying "you've being mean to me" which is a put-down, say: "It hurts me when you don't respond to my messages for several days. That's what feels like being mean to me."

 

I think he's just not had much chance to mature because of his computer job. And he probably sees his friends more often than you because he feels more comfortable with them, since there's no strong emotions involved the way there are on your side. Youngish men can be very frightened of a woman's emotionality, because they can't stand to be responsible for hurting her (ie guilty), but they can't stop her from feeling a lot no matter what they do or don't do. So they keep to their male friendships because they aren't as complicated and they don't have to feel guilty about hurting a friend's feelings, because a male friend would never realize that his feelings were hurt.

 

Jared has very little time to grow through close relationships, and he has the time competition from his male friendships that are much easier to cope with than dealing with your feelings. There's nothing wrong with you or your feelings, but he's probably trying to keep from hurting you but he doesn't prioritize you the way you want him to.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh he's a waiter not a computer worker, but I did not express my anger on him like you told me and he responded differently when I didn't. Usually when I'm upset and I ask when can we see other his usual response was "not sure", this time he said "not sure, but we'll have to figure out another time", which I was pleased because he has never said that to me before. When I asked him about his day he said it was uneventful, which is I'm assuming because he found out he had to work, but he did say he'll talk to me later and stuff. I must admit I never really met his friends or family, I wonder if it's because he's embrassed by me.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I realize your exploring the world of young adult relationships with not much experience to base yourself on. Do you ever ask your mother for guidance?

 

He might be more embarrassed by HIMself and his mother than by you. I thought he was a computer geek, but must have misread something. IF you plan to graduate from college and have a professional job some day, then marrying him probably won't work out. Because men can't cope with feeling one-down to their wives in education, career identity or prestige. So they stay away from closeness, they suffer from lowered self-esteem, they distract and pleasure themselves thru alcohol, drugs, womanizing, and other passionate interests (like adventures, buddy group activities) and they put their wives down and even abuse them emotionally or physically to defend themselves against feeling embarrassed and ashamed of themselves. That probably doesn't show up now, because you aren't situated in your adult career identity yet--and perhaps you don't intend to become someone with more social value than a waiter. Did either of your parents graduate from college? And adopt a professional career? How far has your mother gone with her education and career in the work world? Does she hope you will go further than she has gone?

 

And then What's he Waiting For? Is he waitering until he's 30 and realizes that his life is passing him by, and it's time to make something of himself that he can be proud of?

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't really ask my mom because I'm ashamed and scared if she found I was sleeping with a man that was way older then me. What makes you think me and Jared will get married? Do you think he'd even want to be with me in the future? It seems like me and him can't seem to let each other go and I'm honestly a bit scared to tell him how I feel. Only my mother graduated from college, my dad didn't. My mother is a registered nurse ,she takes works seriously and of course she wants me to get more ahead then her, she told me that she wanted me to be a doctor. I actually think Jared realized that he has been in same spot for years and decided to go to school for business.v I remember he kept making a big deal about his age and my age.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

So perhaps you're an inspiration to him to NOT keep waiting while his life passes him by. The shame that he would feel if he stays with you may be a MOTIVATOR for him. [Hey if he doesn't have a meaningful or inspiring father, then he doesn't have any intrinsic REASON to "get ahead," because he's neither "behind" or "ahead of" any man in his family, and that's the footsteps that boys have to follow.]

 

So he could be facing you in his unconscious mind & saying, as did Jack Nicholson to Helen Hunt in the great movie "As good as it Gets"--"You make me want to be a better man." That is a classical-natural inspirational effect of "having feelings for" another person, since Plato's famous dialogue about Platonic "feelings." But since about 1965 we dare not call that "love," because the sexual revolutions (& birth control pills) taught us that Sex and Love aren't the same thing at all. So now we don't know our own feelings anymore, as the price of getting some body-pleasure when we think we can get away with it. So we play with fire, and naturally we get burnt sooner or later.

 

I was not assuming you'd marry Jared. If you're going to be anything close to a doctor, you'll need at least 6 more years in school before you can afford to share your top priorities with a man whose priorities aren't exactly the same as yours. If you really relate closely with your father (as my daughter does with me), then you may be inclined to mate with a guy who's not trying to achieve anything above your father's level. But that's risky if your work-dedication and/or social/educational status is higher than your mate's. [You need to know things like this, and you will hear them if you get to med school, but it helps to know sooner, because your heart is not protected against human feelings. And perhaps your father and mother can't teach you this because neither of them knows it.]

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well Jared never ever mentioned a dad, in fact when I was at his apartment, I saw family pictures of him and his brothers but no dad. Perhaps Jared said he was comfortable with me so he was not shy. My personal communication professor told me that he seems like you but is not ready for anything serious? What do you think Dr. Brown? If I tell him I want more from will I lose him?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
I agree that he's "not ready for anything serious" because he'd have to compare himself with you (which he's already doing) and "he's not getting ahead" like you are. So unless and until he does that, he won't feel GOOD ENOUGH ABOUT HIMSELF TO BE "SERIOUS" WITH YOU. But he won't want to let go of you either. You glued yourselves together when you kept having sex, so somewhere down the line, one or both of you is going to get hurt. But there's no such thing as love (Oh excuse me, I mean "having feelings for") without hurt. But it's WAY better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, and despite all of his guilt, Jared will realize that too.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean comparing himself to me? And what makes you think he's will get hurt? Because I feel like I'm the only one getting hurt in this relationship between me and him. I also thought he could let me go easily? Because it seemed that he didn't need to talk to me sometimes.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
He's "not getting ahead" as a waiter, and you are as a student. He will get hurt because he's denying his "feelings" but they're affecting him just as yours are affecting you. People can be a lot more screwed up in the head than in the heart. No he can't let you go easily. There are several layers of feelings beneath what we're aware of and want to have.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What feelings is he denying? Why won't let me go to date other men? I decided I will see other people but I'll talk to him as a friend
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

He's denying the same feelings you're not denying, and he's unable to take on the challenges of manhood, including being responsible for a reciprocal love relationship. I'm glad to read that you're not doubting whether you'll be attractive to other men or not. Remember that if you want to strengthen your confidence in your own attractiveness, just do the 15min mirror-gazing meditation once every day for 3 weeks. You'll become attractive to yourself, and that's all it takes; that and being interested/attracted toward the guy. And make it easy enough for the guy to realize you like him; one guy at a time in any one location, so you don't seem like a flirt. Or try a couple at a party until you feel which one clicks better.

 

I've read other girls on this site who wrote that they seem very self-confident, but as soon as they get involved with a guy, they lose it all. For once they like a guy, they get consumed with worrying about saying/doing the wrong thing and getting rejected. But they're just as able to reject the guy as he is to reject them; that's the risks of falling in "like." In the really really BAD old days (before around 1800) almost all marriages were arranged by families or entire villages, so lovers didn't have to worry much about somebody getting upset, or wanting somebody else, and suddenly dumping them. We pay a high price for all this freedom to choose well or badly, and to fall in love a lot of times because it's really SO EASY to do.

 

So Cupid's arrows are raining down on everyone and there are lots of misfires and REALLY BAD MATCHUPS with disastrous ethnic, status, lifestyle, life-goals and psychohistory differences. One of the best protections against the wounding that's almost inevitable is to keep doing what it takes to LIKE YOURSELF, which includes learning to do things that feed your soul (like music or art forms, dreams, journal-keeping, nature-hobbies, physical-exercise-practices) and learning to like your face and body. Others can feel it if you like yourself, and they will like to be around you.

 

A second step is to KNOW YOURSELF, which includes goals, interests, strengths & weaknesses, spiritual & political & moral values, & what you like to share with another person. So then you can apply this self-knowledge as a shopping list before you let yourself fall in like with somebody else (just because he spoke to you first, probably because you were 1. pretty and 2. about as young as he unconsciously felt himself--20something guys are rumored to be 5 yrs behind same age girls in social & emotional maturity.)

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So in other words he likes me but he's scared? And I thought a lot about my appearance, and I figured if Jared finds me attractive enough to want to sleep with me and keep wanting to sleep with me, I found be attractive on some level. Yes I did do the mirror exercise and it's helping a little, do you ever think some time in the future Jared will ever step up to be in a relationship with me? Does you think he wants one with me at all? I must admit I still get a little nervous texting him but not as bad as before, how would he even react if I found someone else?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Be sure to do the mirror exercise for 3 whole weeks, because that's how long it typically takes to form a new habit. In this case it's "growing accustomed to your face," and this will feel good because by meditating using your own face as your centering focus, you are calming and cleansing your mind, and that leaves your mind feeling good, and that good feeling has been CAUSED by the sight of your face as a valuable center for your concentration. So your face is valuable, comfortable, and calming. [If you're ever going to be a people helper or healer-doctor, you'll be more effective once you know by habit that your face is calming, cleansing and valuable.]

 

It's not right for me to predict for you how Jared would react if you found someone else. Because sooner or later you will find someone else, and he will react, though he might do his best to keep you from knowing what his reaction is, because he already doesn't want to risk talking about any of his feelings to you. I feel like these questions you're asking me are the things most girls discuss with their best girlfriends, and it's how they get their education in how romantic relationships work. I know a lot about this subject, but I was once way less informed and less aware of my feelings than you are.

Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
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Experience: Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh sorry doctor I didn't know it was a unfair question about Jared's reaction, I just wanted a opinion. So before I give you a fantastic rating because you really have helped me :), so Jared likes me and is attracted to me but afraid of his feelings and a relationship with me? Or is he just afraid of me in general? And that's why he won't let go of me? And what can I do about my nervousness when I'm texting him? Because I did text him today and he ignored me (nothing new) but I still slightly feel that hurt & pain when he does that, how can I stop feeling hurt?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did not you not receive my final questions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Did you get my question?

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, Victoria, but I didn't see your question again. It would be wrong for me to predict Jared's reaction to you finding somebody else, because I could be wrong, probably WOULD be wrong, because he would be more likely to hide his reaction than to show it to you.

 

Jared is anxious about "getting in too deep" because he hasn't done enough with his own life to feel confident that he could do the right thing if things got more and more serious. And it IS possible he's afraid of YOU, or more likely feeling one-down to you, because he's not going through college and you are.

 

His failures to respond to your text messages NATURALLY make you anxious and confused, because you can't let go of communicating until you get a reply. Being kept waiting in limbo like that makes ANYBODY feel awkward, confused and anxious for closure--and that's all manifestations of the inborn emotion called Shame. And while you're hung out to dry like that it's natural to either Blame Yourself (what'd I do wrong? does he not like me?) or Blame Him (he's playing with me!).

 

I don't think you should be able to NOT feel HURT when he doesn't respond. The only thing I can think of for you to do, SINCE your relationship has been going on for many months and you haven't asserted yourself to have "the talk" in which you ask him to commit himself to having a relationship with you or NOT to having a couple relationship with you, and you declare that "Friends with Benefits" is OVER. And either you become a couple (even if you only see each other as frequently as he can spare the time, once every 2 weeks) or you stay "casual friends" and YOU WILL START TO DATE OTHER GUYS.

 

I know "casual friends" is not what you want, but you say you don't want to let go of "friendship," (and nobody else does in your situation either) so I guess you will try to be "cf" without yearning to get sexually intimate again. I don't think you'll be able to do that, OR to date somebody else unless you STOP waiting around to "be his friend." So you'll just end up in the same limbo that you're suffering with now.

 

There's NOTHING wrong with you that you feel anxious when he doesn't respond to your texts. You WON'T be able to keep from taking a stand with him until you're tired of suffering because you won't take a stand! You could suggest a rule about how soon he needs to respond to your text, even to say "can't talk till tomorrow." He might agree to 24 or 48 hours maximum. Or dodge the question.

 

But you're ready for an emotional relationship, and you're just going to keep on suffering and feeling bad about yourself and him until you take a stand. Every woman in this culture has had to do this many times, and I guess this is your first time. But the words are something like: "I want you as my regular boyfriend Now. If you want that, say yes. If you don't want that, tell me why not." Older women also have used this phrase many times: "Sh*t or get off the pot."

 

You're getting this lesson week after week: Friends With Benefits Is A Bad Deal For A Woman. [Have you EVER talked with another girl who thought that FWB in a relationship that lasted over 3 months was a good deal for her? Or with another girl who had FWB for over 2 months without realizing that she had feelings for the guy that were hurting her if he wouldn't commit to a relationship with feelings in it? Maybe you believe that FWB is cool because most everybody does it. But GIRLS and WOMEN learn pretty quickly, maybe not the first time they try it (if the guy drifts away after a month or two) but by the second to 3rd time they learn that it's not any fun as soon as they have feelings and the guy doesn't want to "go there."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well Jared is in college, that's where I met him. I apologize for being annoying, I thought you were ignoring my questions or something. I do feel like he's scared of me sometimes, which makes me feel bad. I texted Jared on Friday which took him a hour to respond back, and I didn't respond back until way later, he didn't respond but read my text right away, I texted him again today and I got the same result. Which is he read the text right away but didn't respond, so I got a upset a bit and almost cried but composed myself, I don't understand why he reads them so quickly but doesn't respond, and why he acts afraid of me. I been trying to remain positive, by telling myself that he WILL talk to me eventually.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure I can give you what will really help you. But I am interested that you keep finding new reactions of your own and of Jared's to bring up. I have potential insights into both of your actions and reactions that go deeper into your unconscious mind than you are likely to be able to understand. So I'm not happy about suggesting developmental psychological issues that it may do you no good to consider.

 

If you are right about Jared being afraid of you, and I think you are, it is because he is afraid of LOVE. He's afraid of love because it has the power to draw him away from the unconscious shelter of the mother he's depended on since birth, and he's had no hands-on involved father to lead him into heroic engagement in the big bad world. Unconsciously he knows he's not ready to build his own career&dwelling in the world, and his only reliable inner security is under his mother's wing--whether he ever spends any time with her or not. It is entirely appropriate to be afraid of love when it comes knocking, because it can take you so far out on a limb away from home and mother that you might never be able to come back (psychologically), if you stay in love long enough to build your life around a mate rather than your parental nest.

 

Well, the same is true for you. You're still living at home, but your feelings are reaching for Jared, as long as you don't have to break with mother and go out on your own--and Jared can't give you the protection and safety that your parents can. Your confident pursuit of an amitious career is fulfillment of your mother's self-extension wish for you, so she is in effect your secret psychological copilot as you tentatively pursue a great transcontinental flight into the world of advanced medicine. As long as she supports wholeheartedly whatever adjustments in the path she's hoping you'll continue, you'll feel her copiloting is with you. So you won't need a young man to be your protector; he'll feel like an orphan and you won't. He's afraid of depending on you, and you are afraid of depending on him for the repetitive reassurance from rapid responses to your texting.

 

Internet & digital phone communication is like having a chip in the other person's brain, or a very early-childhood-like telephone-wire that you jerk when you feel the need for attention. And then when you don't get a response as soon as you know would be possible, you feel hurt AS IF YOU WERE LOOKING RIGHT AT JARED AND HE WAS LOOKING AWAY FROM YOU INSTEAD OF MAKING EYE&VOICE CONTACT. That is actually as compelling of your painful response (disappointment-turning-into-hurt-turning-into-selfblame-&-fear-of-loss-&-abandoned-orphan-flipflopping-with-selfblame&blameHim) as in your infant&toddler need-relationship with your mother.

 

There's a self-preservative sense-of-balance within Jared that won't let him open his inner gates to loving you for fear that he would feel that hooked-in to you.

 

There's a natural process beginning with opening your heart -- but happening too fast if you open your womb first -- that restimulates some of that yearning for the reliable closeconnection with mother. But the texting connection breaks down ALL natural boundaries of space and time that used to exist when communication required a visit or a letter, or even just answering one's cell-phone. So that closeconnection seems SO close that it can drive us crazy to not get it. Some day we'll have enough scientific evidence to realize that opening our bodies to sexual arousal brings our spiritual beings into partial unification of "auric" or "electromagnetic" or "psychic" fields, and launches a long-lasting process that leads eventually to creation of a baby on the physical or psychological level (visible in dream imagery), and this offspring is a physical or psychic concrete outcome of the psychic couple field that has been formed. [The success of birth control technologies since 1960 has blinded our societies to this process.]

 

Where sexual arousal and intercourse penetrates our bodies and joins our psychospiritual fields, texting now penetrates the privacy of our minds with an insistence that normal psychic communication can't match.

 

But does it do you any good to know that?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sort of, I mean it gives me ideas why he has been acting this way with me specifically. I might add that before we had intercourse, he asked if I was in birth control. He has never suggested that we would condoms. One time after we got done having sex, he said "you are on birth control right?", which I replied "of course, why are you worried?" which he said I'm always worried. To my disappointment I have texted him again, which he read message but did not reply. I got hurt and the reason I get hurt is because I do not understand why he checks my messages right away or read them later, then not bother to talk to me. Does he ignore me because it is a manipulative tool? Also if he is so afraid of love and commitment, then bother to talk & have sex with me? Or is he just unsure of me?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Victoria, I need to go back to some of the things I've said before, and emphasize. I never explicitly said this, but Jared is probably a male child of divorce who's never risked commiting to any love relationship before, and never used the word "love," because he's dominated unconsciously by the assumption (NORMAL for divorce children) that every love relationship will end in Divorce or Disaster, same thing. And in fact, your relationship with him will inevitably end some time, since marrying is out of the question with your educational plans for at least 5 years. It's also NORMAL for sons of divorce to ONLY do FWB for as long as they can get someone to do that with them, even if they are in fact quite stuck on the person, and they will NOT even ADMIT the power of their feelings TO THEMSELVES--since the minute they DO admit that, their fear of losing the connection would drive them away. That means they will find (bogus or relational difficulty) reasons to leave the person before the (unconsciously expected) "Divorce" happens to them (as it did in spite of anything they could do with their parents).

 

He's not so much afraid of you as he is afraid of any feeling relationship to any woman, because the only woman he's ever known who he's sure will not leave him is his mother.

 

So Friends with Benefits is all you'll ever get with Jared, and he's going to have to keep backing away when he gets any text from you. You're on to him now. But he's not manipulating YOU when he reads a message and then backs away from responding. He's manipulating HIMSELF so he doesn't get eager to respond and realize that he LIKES you TOO MUCH to be SAFE from his fear of helplessness in anything resembling a love relationship. So you'll never get anything better than what you've got now, with or without "benefits." It's not worth the emotional price you're paying: You're feeling the helplessness and fear of losing him (fear that he doesn't really like you and is just toying with you) that he would feel if he didn't keep running away everytime he looks at a message you've just sent to him. That's what happens when one partner is scared and denies that to himself: His self-protective tactics make her (you) feel what he's dodging.

 

The only hope you have of getting past this problem that's hurting you is to tell him that you're on to him, and you realize that he's reading your messages and immediately going away without responding so he won't feel how he likes you as much as you like him, because he's a son of divorce and he can't help feeling that if he ever likes you too much he'll lose you for sure. Just like his parents broke up.

 

I don't have much confidence that telling him he's just scared of liking you too much will get him to accept that he does like you "too much" and just give in to it. You'd be doing him a HUGE favor to tell him that, but you'd be showing him something he's never dared to think about before (probably).

 

After I demonstrated with scientific research in the late 1990s that that's why divorce children were usually dumping their nondivorcechild partners FIRST, as well as hiding things and avoiding feelings and commitments, to keep from feeling helpless, I taught it to the 30+% of my Psych of Relationships students who were children of divorce, and I told them that when they started wanting to pull away, they should tell themselves, and then their partners that they were SCARED--scared of getting hurt or left behind like what happened when their parents divorced. I know that many of them did manage to make their love relationships at the time they were in my class last a lot longer and get in deeper than ever before. But that didn't mean they were really right for each other for Marriage and their long pilgrimage and ordeal on the road of life.

 

And another amazing and awful thing is that the nondivorce-child partner who's always getting pushed away (for a while) and even (temporarily) dumped (meaning YOU), never wants to give up and will keep chasing the retreating boyfriend as long as he'll give you any reason to hope he'll stop withdrawing and let you give him everything he wants again. This is called the Pursuer-Distancer Dance, and you're the Pursuer because he's the Distancer.

 

It's a "love-trap" you're caught in. And no tenthousand words from me will spring you loose. Only you can quit pursuing him. Or you can tell him exactly what he's doing without realizing it and why, as I wrote above. And then he's about as likely to stay away forever because he's ashamed of being shown up as afraid of real relationship as he is to realize that he could quit being so scared and try getting closer. But even if he quits being so scared for a little while, he's not going to get better for long. The first time something gets difficult or you look needy or hurt to him, he'll run away again and you'll be back to Square One. You won't keep putting up with that, unless your father has been about as unreliable as a caring person as Jared.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was deeply sadden when I read your answer not because I thought you were wrong or anything. I got sad reading that the relationship would eventually end, and it was never going to get better. Deep down, I knew I was going to happen. Even thou I didn't want to admit it. As of right now I feel like its not even worth telling him how I feel about him because its not like he even cared for me anyways. I have talked to him today and the beginning of the conversation was great, it reminded me of old times. I told him we should hang out sometime, he said " I would, but I haven't had much free time." I responded with "am I not going to get my present then? :(", he didn't respond, I sent another text saying " answer me :p", still no answer. I was deeply hurt, why won't he answer my questions sometimes? Especially questions like that? Will he talk to me again? Does he to a degree even care about me and my feelings?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you miss it again?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Victoria, He has shame that your feelings are getting hurt, and that shame makes him want to withdraw from you as the least toxic way to deal with his shame without becoming aware that your feelings are still hurt or saying anything that makes either of you feel worse. He does care about YOU but he can't afford to care about your feelings because that would make HIM feel bad (ashamed).

 

You need to feel your sadness, to dive all the way into it and down to the bottom. So that you'll stop trying to change the way he acts, at far greater cost to your feelings than to his. So that you'll come out the other side of the "world of hurt" you've embraced by embracing him. And then you'll be able to say, some day soon, "It's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."

 

And you'll know then (I hope) that to let a man into your body, even once, and even into your bed, if it happens more than one or two times, is to invite Love into your heart, and with it hurt, frustrated expectations, sorrow and feelings of betrayal. They're all part of the same equation, no matter what else happens. So you need to give a lot more thought to the personality, behavior, lifestyle, and future goals of any man quality time with, and give probably at least 1 to 3 months of getting-acquainted and testing-commitment time before you let any man share the pleasure of your body. [You have had the same implicit thoughts about J as most virginal men and women naturally have: Could I marry this person? But marriage trajectories require very conscious and explicit commitments, and you haven't learned that yet.]

 

Please don't make this mistake again. But I will be available if you do.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate your patience and honesty doctor. So in other words he does care about me? He does find me attractive? He enjoys my company? He can't let me go then? After that text message conflict, would he talk to me again? Would I even have to worry about him talking to me again? Because he always will?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
No he won't always talk to you. How many months has this been going on? Is this after the end of your second semester? or 3rd? or 4th? If he does finally forget how he has to make sure you don't think he likes you too much, because then he'd be setting up a divorce-like hurtful stiuation, then he'll communicate again and pretend like he's just been too busy to text, which is not true at all. And then you'll start the cycle all over again by trying to revive the feelings you've been roasting over for months already. So he's realize with a shock again that you're Attached, which is the last thing he wants to allow for himself, so he'll back off again and you'll be hurt again, and ask me if he really likes you or not. And I'll say "likes you" is not the problem, the problem is that he doesn't "like" relationships, because he "knows" they'll all crash sooner or later--and since the only relationships that are worth the risk are those that don't hurt and won't ever end (both of which are impossible expectations), "it's better to not love at all." (But a little sex and even cuddling would be pretty nice, if it didn't keep leading girls to feel those relationship feelings, no matter how hard you try to keep them from happening.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well he does like me then, just not relationships, even with me. He'll talk to me eventually then .
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
Please find somebody else to HAVE A CRUSH ON BEFORE THEN. Pick some guy in pre-med or an English or Psych major who's around 21-23. Since you're not having a 2-way relationship, you're free to develop a crush on somebody that has a better chance of turning into a relationship from which you can have both significant learning (there's none of that left uncovered in this one) and amazing love-satisfaction: so much more than what J is capable of.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Oh no lol I wasn't asking in romantic way for Jared, I feel like he won't ever be ready for a relationship with me, I'm just asking to be friends with him. I feel a bit contempt but grateful because I'd be even happy to be his friend, but would it be difficult for him since we had sex? He already gets distant when I talk about friends or other guys. Anyways, this is the last thing I said to Jared before he decided not answer me, and I was wondering if he would still talk to me even after this convo? I feel like he gets scared of certain questions I ask sometimes.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Dear Victoria, So you had a birthday? And he didn't get you a present that he implied he would get? I think his "I would but I really don't have much free time" really does mean PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE.

 

And here's what else: You're nuts to be wanting to continue to be "friends" with him after you've had sex SO many times over SO many months and he KNOWS you are stuck on him. You will NEVER get unstuck if you have ANY friendly contact with him. You had too many intimate heart-synchronizations sleeping with him after intercourse. You are suffering from loving a boy who can't cope with love, and wouldn't be right for you even if he could cope.

 

You must learn from this big long mistake of "friends with benefits" that you'll need a few months of building an exclusive romantic relationship with any other man before you let sex occur with him, because you will get hooked and hurt like this with any sexual relationship you start. You might get by without commitment if you just make out and fondle for a date or two but don't engage in intercourse. But birth control pills do NOTHING to protect your generous heart from blossoming into LOVE and love cannot exist without periodic hurt during any relationship and persistent pain of loss at the end--UNLESS you confuse your heart so fundamentally with rapid bed-hopping from one guy to another (on a monthly basis for at least half a year) that you just burn up your sorrow in new sexual fireworks every time you feel hurt. All that prostitution of your body to defend against the inevitable pain that comes with loving does is 1. put you at risk for disease and pregnancy, 2. intensify your sensory adaptation to sexual pleasure, so that sex will increasingly outshout love in its influence over your desires and decisions (which is the same fundamental corruption of relationship character that occurs in the sexual orgy culture and prostitution), and 3. correspondingly desensitize you to what love feels like, A. so you will go around college hurting the boys that still do fall in love rapidly and easily like you have done (since this is probably the deepest you have ever fallen into love in your young life so far), and B. so you won't know anymore whether You are feeling the beginnings of love or not and thus make more mistakes about who you should and should not keep deepening your emotional commitment with.

 

You are now like a fish that has swallowed the fisherman's hook all the way down into your belly, and it's not going to stop hurting you unless you either burp it out completely, or cut the line and accept that you'll need to let the hook rust away until you can excrete it. The loss of First love is a major experience of pain on the threshold of adulthood that requires grieving and self-discipline to learn how to treat yourself and your loving with the respect you need, so that you don't react the way a large percentage of American culture (and increasingly other cultures as well) does: to trivialize love relationships (FWB!) in hopes of dodging the pain.

 

You can expect several months to recover from the loss of this relationship, same say about half the number of months that the relationship lasted. I can't predict that, because there are many factors involved; but IF you try to stay FRIENDS you WILL PROLONG your agony for sure. YOU NEED YOUR CONTEMPT towards him, for his cowardice in stringing you along has been far greater than your own naive cowardice in not insisting on commitment and expressing your natural outrage growing from the hurt of being denied the romantic reaction to the romantic blossoming of your own heart.

 

The ways that you act and think to cope with this loss will affect your future love relationships. You live in a culture of serial monogamy, so you will get other chances to learn how to love and to recover from loving. Get the little book How to Recover from the Loss of a Love (Melba Cosgrove and others).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well no my birthday is XXXXX the 27th of July. Earlier in the month he said wanted to give me a present, I told him I wanted go out for my birthday, and he wanted sex but not just once but three or four times in his apartment. When I asked him why, he said it was a present we could both enjoy. I really don't have a huge crush on him as I did before in the past. I'd be grateful just to be his friend. Right now I have a problem which I have not had before. I have texted him earlier today around one, and as I said before when I text him i can tell when he has read my texts me. Well I noticed not only has he not responded to my text but he has not read it at all which I never dealt with that before and it is freaking me out so bad, that I am kinda crying, i dont know why its bothering me and i dont know why i am so worried about him talking to me, will he talk to me again?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

You just don't want to accept that it's over unless you're willing to return to genital benefits without the rest of a relationship. You're fooling yourself about "friendship" when what you really want is to build a full-fledged human relationship that's not dependent on giving him sex as the price of his company. That's why NEXT TIME (with the next guy) you'll have to build the (erotically tantalizing) "FRIENDSHIP" first, until you both can admit that it's romantic, without being so scared you run away.

 

I suspect he has to front-load his M/F intimacy with sexSEXsex because his unconsciously very afraid of women, probably because he doesn't have a sturdy attachment to father to balance his childhodd-to-adulthood attachment to his mother.

 

I'm sorry you'll have to go on struggling with your tar-baby-boy relationship until after your birthday, unless you give him his sexSEXsex--and then you'll hang on his every (non)move for another 3months at least.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well we chatted the next day but he acted like nothing happen but he stopped texting after awhile. I'm just going to assume that he will always text me sooner or later. He always seems to talk and not let go, but I decided that your right, I'm going to not have high expectations, not pressure him anymore, and try to move on while maintaining a friends but with no sex friendship. I'll talk to him while I look for some else, the only problem is he gets moody when I talk about other men.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

DON'T TALK TO HIM WHILE YOU LOOK FOR SOMEONE ELSE. You have empathy for his feelings, ("moody"). But I know my advice won't stop you. It's actually normal for people during the first ten years of their romantic relationships to deny grief as well as deny love. By "remaining friends" you deny that you've really got nowhere to go but away, and that way the moments of grief are usually surprising, and they're supposed to be easily covered up when you're excited about somebody new. It doesn't work so simply,, and remaining friends actually slows down your recovery process.

 

Picture a psychic-energy connection between your heart and his heart as an invisible telephone line. As long as you leave your relationship definition as "friends" you are keeping your own phone-channel open and active, like a pair of my 40something clients from a few years ago with Borderline Personality problems that had to leave their cell phones ON with each other all night long when they weren't actually sleeping together, which was most nights. That meant in effect that every time one partner mumbled something into his/her phone, the other was jolted awake, and that didn't always make them happy at all; and if the other was NOT awakened, then the one that had just mumbled something suddenly got all vigilant: "What's going on? Where is s/he?" And it didn't stop there: "Who is s/he with?"

 

So the potential for hopefulness, depression and embarrassment, hurt and even humiliation, betrayal and paranoia was always present. You're getting hurt like that too; but with your telephone wire carrying only text messages, the effects on your thinking that lead straight into obsession are less constant, and presumably they don't keep you from sleeping or provide nightmares.

 

What will happen when you start to get excited about another guy? Will you dread texting J about that? Or just stop texting with no mention of an excuse? And hope he doesn't take it upon himself to open up a conversation?

 

Won't you just have to text him something sooner or later? Or go back to feeling down because you believe he never really cared for you because he did nothing to find out how you were doing?

 

Wouldn't it make more sense to text a girlfriend about other men?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't think I have any effect on his heart, and the reason I have some empathy is because he never ever talked about other girls. I'm not denying love there simply was not any from him. If I were to meet someone else, I wouldn't tell him, at least not right away.i would text him but my expectations are low. It's not like he talks to me on his own, and yes I don't believe he cares for me. I don't normally tell girls because most my friends are guys.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

What is it you expect to feel when you TEXT Jared that you've found another guy that you're excited about? Or that you're 'friends' with? If you're not ever going to indicate in text that you're not going to 'stay friends' with him, what is there to text him about? Or are you just going to text him every time you think about him and miss him, after spending some days wondering if you're going to feel bad when he doesn't respond to you, until he finally does 2-4-6 days later, and then maybe cry some more before you finally let go of being obsessed about whether he likes you enough or not?

 

I know you haven't had any experience with this kind of emotional trap before. So I'm just hoping you'll learn as much as possible from this experience, and you won't use your sexuality to try to get a guy to like you, instead of just showing your own liking and waiting until you're sure of a romantic relationship (even though SO many people are afraid of that now--esp young men and women whose parents have divorced).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well be honest, do you think Jared ever on some degree cared for me? Do you think he found me attractive? Liked me as a friend and enjoyed my company? Because I fail to see some things like him caring about me. Of course I will stay friends with him but I accept that nothing more will ever happen and if I tell Jared about a new guy he is just going to have to accept it. Yes I will be hurt a little if he ignores me but I figure he will always talk to me sooner or later
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

Wow! You seem so deeply hurt that you gave your body and heart to him, and somehow vowed to be "friends forever" as some youthful equivalent of a "till death do you part" marriage--and somehow tied to this commitment on your part is a deep wound that you express as being convinced HE didn't CARE for you in the same way that you cared about him.

 

I mean this seriously, because you don't seem to be willing to even consider NOT being "friends" with him, as if that would mean BETRAYING YOURSELF. That seems to mean you'd be BETRAYING YOUR LOVE, even though you don't dare call it love, because he told you he would only call it "friends."

 

I have seen this before among my college students: You were ready to open your heart like a flower when he saw you and found you fragrant. So you gave your innocent love. But he didn't have a love like yours to give. It doesn't make your love worth any less than it is worth still. But he couldn't love you or anybody in that way, just couldn't, because his heart was scared into hiding by the things that happened between his mother and his father and him many years ago. If the boy had been as ready to love as you were, you would know much better than you do now how completely cherishable you are because you love as unflinchingly as you have done.

 

I'm eager for you to find another guy to love who is able to love, so you don't have to maintain the dignitiy and respect of your own love by pouring it obsessively over him. But you're right: Your young love is so pure and so constant that he will always talk to you sooner or later (whether I LIKE THAT OR NOT), as long as you keep your heart's telephone off the hook with his number in the dial-up.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean my love is pure and cherishable? Also you never answered my previous questions. Yes I am hurt because I do believe he never cared but I feel like now I have to accept things to move in doctor
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure what questions you think I haven't answered. Because I have answered ALL THREE of your most recent questions several times before: YES to all three questions: Cared for you (to the extent that he's able, which is limited); Attractive (you reported he even said so & told you to never assume that you weren't pretty--that's your own neurosis, which is THE MOST COMMON failing of young women); liked you "as a friend" that's all BS, because LIKE = LOVE and "friend" means "I don't want to go any farther than that--IF I don't have to go any farther to keep you having sex with me."

 

Your love is pure and cherishable, because you are not willing to give it up no matter what anybody else says. You might as well be married to the guy--which is totally normal for first loves, and any loves that last over a few months. You'll never get over this love unless you accept that your mind has to go to battle against your heart, because your heart just loves and gets hurt, and it will keep doing that until the hurt outweighs the love so much that your mind can finally succeed in stopping you from thinking obsessively and texting him again. That kind of love is VERY cherishable, because it's not based on ANY REASONABLE CALCULATIONS. You even know (mentally) that he's always going to disappoint you sooner or later; and he's always going to "talk to you again" sooner or later, and that's only going to lead directly to another experience of being left hanging and therefore being hurt again.

 

You really are like my former clients who used to insist on leaving their cell phones linked up on a telephone call ALL NIGHT LONG when they weren't sleeping together. In your case it's because you could text him at any minute and then you'd have your telephone line left open to him and you'd be waiting with increasing disappointment and hurt for him to text you back, esp after noticing that he has read your text. But because you're hurt and frustrated waiting for him to respond, when he finally does respond, your emotions switch from worry, sorrow & hurt & anger to GREAT RELIEF. And your 3 questions are suddenly emotionally answered inside your heart again with YES, he does care, he does find me attractive, he does like me as a friend.

 

So you're just asking me to act as "GO-BETWEEN" for Jared, so you'll know that you can leave your text-line open to him so he's still on the hook and you are, even while you say you're going to find another guy. And it doesn't matter how many times I tell you that Jared does YES to all 3 questions, but he's just not able to be a boyfriend to you or anybody else. And no woman can save a boy from not being able to love until he grows up and deals with his family background enough to be ready.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean liked me as a friend is all BS. I also apologize for repeating my questions because I find it hard to believe and I am also very dense. However I am glad that I am somewhat important to him but I can't force him to be ready for relationship so I feel like he should be understanding if I find another man. What you describe about the the texting situation is spot on because it is exactly what I feel when he finally responds to me.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.

"Liked you as a friend" is BS because it means HE used "as a friend" as a barrier to protect his heart from the word and feelings called "love" because his childhood and young adulthood have left him handicapped in the romantic relating arena. When you say "he should be understanding if I find another man" you sound like you owe him the consideration that a lover should get, because that's what YOU have been; but it's NOT what he has been. Yet it's obvious to you that he does get jealous and hurt when he may be in danger of getting replaced. And he doesn't want to hear about that, because he's been denying all of his love feelings all the way through, so he's got to deny his jealousy and hurt too.

 

YOu're already living some imagination about his pain, in advance, because you've had so much of your own. One of the interesting psychic balances in emotional relationships is that when one person denies most of his feelings, the other is actually impelled to feel more than HER share of those feelings as if they were her own. So you're getting a lot more "education sentimentale" (a novel by Flaubert) than Jared is, because you're feeling much more since he's emotionally stunted.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So he "loves" me in other words? Also isn't denying what you truly feel very bad emotionally? I mean I think a could person could snap at any point with so much feelings hidden away. Do you think he would snap then? Like admit or even acknowledge what he feels about me? And yes he never really liked me talking about other guys or even friends. I say he should be understanding because he didn't want be with me, why be angry if someone else would? Also it's ironic that you say he panics, because I actually chatted with him today and he asked me something and I responded with "Mkay" and he seemed to panic when I said that, because his response was "Sound good?"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I don't mean to bug you but I rather have a embrassing question to ask you about Jared?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey did you forget about my questions?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
THIS ANSWER IS LOCKED!
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Of course, Id be happy to open a thread, I feel like you deserve more since you helped me out in the past. Before I do thou, I asked again because I am currently freaking out because Jared isnt answering my texts again, plus he said some questionable things to me.

Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I make sure the question goes to you?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 year ago.
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