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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5837
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi there. I have a question?
Hello, I'd like to help you. What is your question?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I am coming out of a relationship (13 year marriage). I still am working through it, and haven't signed the papers yet. I am trying to make this work, even though the spark has long since gone.

There is a girl, and she has shown interest in me. We have flirted and made out once, but we both put a stop to it. I have told her that I cannot and will not do anything while I am married, and she accepts that. She also has gone through a divorce, and knows what I am about to face.

My question is: How can I trust my feelings? I really care for this girl. I get butterflies every time she is near, and I know that infatuation happens, but this has been over a period of years that we have known each other. We have not done anything, and while I am going through this, I am not planning to, but how can I know whether or not this is infatuation or possibly what could turn into love?

This is someone who I could possibly see myself in a great LTR with.

While it is easy to confuse infatuation with real love, you can tell if you are really in love if your relationship (the feelings you have for this person) have the following:

-You listen to each other
-Her happiness is important to you

These feelings are developed over time. Infatuation happens first in any relationship because it is what brings you together. It is the initial draw you have for one another. But as time goes on, it becomes easier to tell whether or not you develop a deeper relationship because the initial attraction fades.

If you have known this woman for a while and you still feel strongly about being with her, that indicates there is more to your feelings than infatuation. Also, infatuation lasts for a few months. Once you stop being intensely attracted to one another, you are left with either love or something less than that. You can develop a deeper love by paying attention to fostering the trust and other deeper feelings between you. But for the most part, time will tell you if you are truly in love with each other.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

Take care,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there. Have another question for you regarding this same situation.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there, thanks for talking with me.


Ok. Let me see if I can explain what is going on in my own words. This is extrapolating on what is going on and adding onto the question I had before. This is a long one, but I want to make sure that I get everything down and that you get the complete story.


I have been married for 13 years. I am currently separated, and we are working on it, but it is not going well. I see this is probably going to end in divorce, but I am good with it. I have really tried my best, but sometimes it does not work out, and I can accept that. This has been coming for years now, and working on becoming healthy. I do not want to be in an unhealthy relationship, and this is something that I realize that sometimes it is better to be alone for the right reasons, than with someone for the wrong ones.


I know this girl, called Melissa. She and I have been friends for about two years now. We have mutual friends in common, and we would all hang together in a group. Bars, trips, etc. When I first met her, we hugged, and it was... different. It was a 'perfect hug'. I was a little bit shocked. I think she was too. We became good friends after that, and began hanging out and things were pretty good. I was not looking to date her at the time, I was still married and still involved, but she and I began talking and flirting. Nothing super serious, but still. Going out in groups, doing stuff, etc.

About two years ago, she was in a show. We went to it, and there was an afters party. She and I laughed and chatted and had fun, and we hung out. A friend of mine was snogging on another girl, and she laughed. 'I'm a pretty durn good kisser, if I do say so myself!' I laughed back, and said 'Prove it!' and well...we did. It was... really good. This was something that both of us liked, and didn't put too much into, but this was another level we had reached.


There were another couple of times where we flirted, and there were a couple of more times where we kissed, but it soon stopped. This was not right, but we both liked each other, and we still kept it fun and flirty.

This past year, my marriage has been going downhill. It has been really miserable. I do not want to throw 13 years away, but I also know that this is something that needs to change.


In February, we went out together with some friends to a bar. I was there, having fun, and I mentioned how I could not drink because I hadn't eaten for most of the day. She offered to make something at her house for me, which was down the street. I went with her, and we chatted and ate and hung out.


Then she kissed me.


This wasn't a flirty kiss, this was different.


We proceeded to make out hot and heavy on the couch. It was REALLY good. No sex, but it could have gone that way really easily. I wasn't ready to cross that bridge.


I didn't think a lot of it. I knew she liked me, I liked her, and we proceeded to go out and do things together.


I suddenly knew that she REALLY liked me when she took me out on a date. A real date. She dressed up for. I was floored.


We hung out together. She mentioned that she wanted to take a road trip with me a couple of hours away to go ziplining. I mentioned how we would leave early and it would be a long drive, but she wanted to split a hotel room.


I was floored.


But the thing, the BIG thing, is when we were hanging out, and she said that she could see herself dating me. She had been in an abusive relationship, and she asked me if I would mind us going to therapy together before we got into it.


I wish she hadn't had done that. This was someone who saw the potential in me for something good, something awesome. After that, I fell for her.

My wife and I at that point were roommates. We hung out and were friends, but that was about it. It was pretty hard. Melissa knew what was going on, and she didn't want to do anything, but she was planning.




Everything was going well. We planned on going to a camping trip with a lot of people to a 'Burning Man' sort of deal. This was my first thing like this I had been to, and we joked around about how we would need a chaperone to keep our hands off of each other.


Then my wife got sick. She got a really bad kidney infection. We had to rush to the emergency room. She was on the floor crying. I was unsure that I could not go. I let everyone know. To leave someone who could not get out of bed alone for a weekend? I wouldn't do that to anybody.


That camping trip was hard. Melissa was very cold. Very distant. She was polite, but that was about it. We hung out, and it was ok, but no affection. At all. She had shut down. I was hurt. Badly.


I moved out about a month after that. Through friends I heard that she was dating someone. It was like a kick to the gut. i tried to play it cool, but it was really really hard. Very few texts. No calls. I decided to lay off her for a while. We would see each other in places and with friends, but it was very distant.


I still liked her, but then I thought about giving it up. I was in no position to date her until this was over.


The day I moved out, she invited me and my roommates over for brunch. We hung out and in the beginning it was VERY awkward. But as it went along, it got better, and we started talking. Back to a semblance of what we had before. We hit a museum after, and I met her back at her house. At the house, we sat and chatted. She then told me that she was dating someone. I told her that I was in no position to date, and that I wanted the person I dated to be for the right reasons, and not filling a void, or infatuation. We hung out on the couch cuddling, and I kissed her once, but that was it.


Since then, it was very friend-zone. We hung out in groups, and did things together. She would send me links to things she found interesting, or things that I found interesting, and I would reply to them. She sold me her old laptop, and it has been pretty good.


Recently however, (Copying this from my journal)

Thursday: Chloe, Melissa and I were supposed to go out to Last Concert. Chloe could not go, so Melissa and I went to Fandigos (?) Just spent two hours talking. It went really well.


Saturday: Melissa came over to warehouse. (Repeating from memory)

/general hanging out watching Copper and Mentalist. Was supposed to go to a couple's party over at Jer and Trish's. Going really well.


M- Oh, I have to go and get ready. Kenneth is coming over. (Her
Me- Kenneth is going?
M- Yeah, I am bringing him.
Me- Ah, ok. (She leaves the room to take a phone call and I feel kinda crappy)


/more watching tv. Going really well. It ends. I ask her back to the backroom so I can write her a check for the laptop.


/general chit-chat


Me-Hey, thanks for the laptop, I really appreciate it. /gives her a hug.
M- /hugs me back and jokes about stepping on my toes. I rub her back, still hugging her. She likes it.
Me- /lets go. Hey, I just wanted to say, I had a great time on Thursday.
M- /smiles Me too. It was good talking with you.
Me- Yeah, we haven't done that in a while. Just you and me doing something together. It's been a while.
M- /pauses for a second. Gets quiet. I hope you can forgive me for dating.
Me- /laughs You want to get into this NOW? Ok, grab a seat.
M- /fumbles with end of the bed and sits.
Me- I am really in no position to do anything right now. I want the person to be with not be a replacement for Robin. Not be someone who is filling the void, but I want to be with them for the right reasons.
M- I know. You need time. It will take time.
Me- And me asking you not to date? To wait? That would be an amazingly selfish thing on my part.
Me-Yeah, it is hard sometimes though.
M- I really wasn't looking at all. I just ../makes excuses as to why she is dating K.
Me- Yeah, I just want to say, I am sorry. For it being awkward.
M- Oh, it wasn't that awkward.
Me-Good. It did feel awkward at times on my end. I will admit, I do get jealous sometimes. Not at Kenneth, he is a nice guy. But just at the situation.
M- I understand. Yeah, the timing sucks.
Me-You have NO idea.
Me-/hugs her tightly, she takes my hand. Stares into my eyes.
M-I am glad we are still friends.
Me-/little bit of hurt and accepting smile. Me too.
M- I need to go.
Me- Yeah, you do.
M- We will talk about this later.
Me- /holds her hand and looks into her eyes.
M- /looks into my eyes
Me- You are a bright spot in my life. /smiles
M-/long stare, smiles, and breaks off.


This was two weeks ago. Since then, we have hung out a couple of times. In groups and doing stuff together, but nothing by ourselves. Last Thursday, we went to our hangout bar, with some friends. We had a couple of drinks, and well... I went for broke. (More from the journal)


Well. This is interesting.

Melissa came over on Tuesday. She watched some tv with Beth, Scott, and myself. She was having problems with her computer (the one she sold me) and was all out of sorts. I was hurting a lot with my shoulders and back (need to get back on p90x) and asked her to go to The Cellar. She mentioned how she couldn't go because she had family coming over. I was ok with it, and dropped it. She then got in touch with me on Thursday.

-Let me know about tomorrow. If you guys go out, and if I finish my tasks in time, I'll join you guys.
-You mean today, right? It's Thursday.
-Oh. Yeah. It took a long time to get here. I forgot. :P
-Meeting at Cellar at 715-730ish. Hope to see you there.
-Okay. I hope so too.

So. I got there, and hung out with Chris. He and I got pretty buzzed. Chloe could not make it, but she called, so that was ok. It started to get later, and I thought that Melissa would not show up. And then....

-Are you out there?
-Yeah. Me and Chris. Chloe is running late.
-Okay. I'll be there in a few.-Yay!

So she got there around 9. It went really well. Lots of laughs and drinks and fun. We wound up around 11ish, and broke up to drive home. I walked her to her car. She wanted to sober up a little and talk.

..and then it got interesting...(Trying to remember as much as I can, but I was pretty emotional and intense)

What I said:
-I went for broke.-I told her I liked her.
-Why I liked her: Head and heart. (Very interesting, and biggest heart out of anyone I met)
-If she didn't want to hang out or talk to me after this, I would understand.
-Tears and choked up a little.
-I don't want her to be a replacement. A filling of the void. I want to be with her for the right reasons.
-I could see something pretty good coming out of this when I am better.
-'There is so much I want to do with you.'

She said:
-She has gone through a divorce.
-I worry too much.
-She sees stuff in me that she has gone through.
-She says that emotions run high.
-She knows I like her. She understands what I have said.

Other stuff:
-She stayed WAY later than usual. Like midnightish.
-She dressed up.
-Came out anyway.
-She didn't seem to get mad or upset.
-Wanted to hang out with me and other folks.
-Pretty comfortable.


I left for New Orleans the next day. I was mixed feelings. I felt like it went well, but it was hard. I was a little buzzed, and doing things like this? They rarely end well. I tried not to think about it.


This was last week. Since then, I have seen her a couple of times. She stopped by my place (I live in a warehouse/loft with a couple of people that she and I know in common. Mutual friends.) the day after I got back. She visited with me for a while, and we chatted. There was no tension. She was picking up some of her dresses (She used to live there before me, and still had some things in storage), and was showing them to me. Usually I would not think anything of this, but she was telling me a little bit about them. 'Oh, see this clasp? It holds the slit in front closed. If it wasn't there, it would be WAY open.' Also showing me some pics of her in them.


A couple of friends and I were going to go out yesterday, and I invited her along, but the other friends could not go. I mentioned this to her, and she invited me out anyway. It went really well. Laughs, dinner, and good times. She then invited me over to her house to show me a painting she had bought but prefaced it with 'Oh, you can come in for a bit, but you can't stay too long, ok?' This was the first time she had invited me over to her house alone in a while.


As you can tell, from what I have been saying and seeing, I see myself in something really good with her. Here are my questions:


1- Am I reading this right? Have I been put into the 'friend zone'? She is still dating Kenneth, but it is not serious I think. (She never/hardly mentions him, and never see them all together.)


2- I am not in any position to date her right now. I want to date her for the right reasons. Not because I NEED someone. I spoke with you about feeling infatuated, but I don't think this is it. If it is friendship, how do I tell? If it is affection/potential love how do I tell? I am still married, and not wanting to do this until I am ready.


3-What should I do to keep this going? I think that this could be something REALLY good. I do not want to mess this up.


4-We are currently dancing around each other like moths to flames. Neither of us want to get burnt. How far can/should I go with flirting?


Any advice on what I can do would be REALLY REALLY helpful. I am doubting myself a lot, and second-guessing myself. This is what I SHOULD NOT be doing, but I do not want to be clingy/needy/distant/cold.


I am dancing around in the relationship game, and need help. I could see something long-term and real with her.


Any clarification, PLEASE ask.


Thanks tons.


Thank you for requesting my help again.

If you have a new question, the site does require you to start a new question page. This question is also very lengthy and involved which also requires a new question page.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not a problem. Will do.

Ok, thanks!