Relationship problem - Being the "second" man

I really need some help... I don't know where to go anymore, the emotional and mental burden's a bit too much at the moment and I'm one who cannot bottle things up. I will break sooner anyway...
I've been trying to keep it to myself for a bit, but I think I can't hold it anymore.

So here's the thing - Yes its a girl problem. Unfortunately (or maybe thankfully even?) its not IRL, rather someone I met online. If I have met her IRL probably things would be different.

I have known her for quite a while but we never talked, until recently. I don't know why or how or what made me talk to her all of a sudden late last year, but things like this happen I guess. She has a boyfriend already, but then he's another Internet boyfriend.

She's in UK, her Boyfriend is in US, and I'm in NZ. (pardon the acronyms).
After knowing each other for a couple of months, we've developed a thing for each other. I really care about her despite having not met her, I was depressed as hell and she did helped me up. I suppose a flirt or two broke the ice, and made us felt attracted to each other.

Not just that, but we did end up having quite a lot of "heart to heart" conversations, and I have a soft spot for girls who have been through a rough time, plus considering I have been in her situation too just a few years ago. Therefore I develop empathy quite quickly. In fact she did mention how I knew her deeper as a person than her current Boyfriend.

I fell in love with her (or at least attracted, if love is too strong of a word), but problem is she already have a boyfriend. I have "confessed" to her how I felt, and she too admits she has feelings towards me as well, She loves me too but she also has her boyfriend, and I am sure she is probably as confused as I am about being "unfaithful" or even what is really going on between the two of us really.

We did have a bit of a chat about this once while we were a friend, she was concerned about being unfaithful to her guy. That time I did try to steer us towards "friends" -- however, it obviously failed as both of us ended up pulling towards each other from our interactions. Days goes by and things were flowers and sunshine, until one day she finally said something about her Boyfriend -- I have to admit I did fell into this feeling where I thought she was single and that's when I fell for it... and I was shocked (Although I shouldn't be) somehow. Since then thing's been REALLY downhill for me, its like I just knew she had a Boyfriend but all along I knew about it... I just forgot, and then it kicks me in the head badly when she mentions it (it was pretty casually -- like "what are you doing atm?" "I'm talking with my BF" kinda thing.

I don't know what to do, we still talk normally but I'm sure inside either or both of us had a bit of a conflict within ourselves about this, and I don't know how to untangle it.

Since I "confessed" about it, I notice some changes in the way she chats -- I dunno exactly, but she seems to be less playful than usual.

...Maybe I should find another girl in real life, although then this is quite likely to haunt me when the time comes... Even right now, I think I still have "Karma" punishment from my previous relationship.

Am I too sensitive as a person? Or is this desperation?

What do you guys think? I don't know how do I deal with this...

At the moment I'll admit I need her, I don't think I can go by a day without her -- or at least I'm currently in that state.

Sorry for the REALLY long post... I would appreciate it if you folks can give me good inputs.

Thanks!!

Valke

This is.. pretty hard for me to read and think about. Your situation is pretty much identical to the one I was in ten years go.

I was in the UK, her in AU, her boyfriend in the US.

Now.. I'm married to her and in Australia. But we are the exception to the rule, and it required her going to the US and having her heart broken for us to end up together. It was a long, painful, process that was insanely unlikely but worked out none the less.

I can't for a moment advise anyone to take the same chances we did. For a vast majority of people it just doesn't work out. This is something you need to decide for yourself, and if you want to carry on with it you need to be aware of how painful it's going to be even if it ends up working out.

If you continue this relationship, she will become more distant from you, especially if she still wants to pursue her other relationship. There's no way to say "you might get lucky and she might get her heart broken" without sounding like a twat, but there it is.. if you end up with this girl, there's going to be pain for everyone involved along the way. That doesn't mean it's not a good thing, but be aware of it going in.

Learn to detach your rational self from your emotions in this, it will be absolutely needed at some points going forward.

Craorach:
Learn to detach your rational self from your emotions in this, it will be absolutely needed at some points going forward.

Can you please elaborate on this more? Does it mean i need to be more rational ? Kill the emotions and think clearly?

In general yes i understand she will eventually distance herself from me if she still wants to pursue her other relationship. That i understand, although it does kills me inside, I tend to act all cool and let her and her BF have their time together. Partly As well because recently she had a bit of an issue with her BF how she seem to be not paying enough attention to him (probably not only because of me but maybe also people too), and I do get that "stabbed" feeling whenever she mentions it. I.E. When she watches streaming movies together. I'd excuse myself. (Although sometimes she says its ok, but i still feel i should let them be)

I might be doing self damage to myself when i do that probably... Considerig im furthering the distance, but really i just dont know what to do. I do feel jealous/hurt but at the same time trying to understand her feelings as well - she still has someone else.

The thought to distance her for a bit and see if she misses me also did come to my head... But then at the same time i felt i'd be a jerk for doing that and i'd probably wont be able to handle not talking to her for a while. We barely had the time to talk to each other as it is now due to time difference too.

In one side its kind of "how far are you willing to sacrifice for her?" kind of thing perhaps... I failed this once with my previous relationship. I felt i need to find redemption. Its all starting to feel like a punishment. (maybe im just exacerbating)

Sorry for the long post, but thank you for your response, I'm happy that your relationship worked out. Congratulations.

Not kill the emotions, just.. keep them in check. When you're thinking about your relationship and your future try to always keep a part of you that says "this might not work out, I need to be prepared for that"... don't put all your emotional eggs in one basket.

The best example would be, I suppose, when I finally came down here from the UK... I came as a tourist, not to be with her. Everything was set up in advance so that if it didn't work out I could go back home without any trouble.

If I may be brutally honest.... this girl knows how you feel, which makes it slightly different from the situation my now wife and I were in... I hid my feelings until after the relationship in the US fell apart. There are two possibilities where she already knows, firstly that she is unhappy but unsure how to get out of her existing relationship.

The second, and sadly more likely, is that she is enjoying the attention of multiple people.

For your own sake, I suggest being the "bigger man".. remain friendly, try to help her, but find it in your heart to hold yourself back a bit from it.

One thing I wonder, is do you know the "other man", and does he know you?

In one side its kind of "how far are you willing to sacrifice for her?" kind of thing perhaps... I failed this once with my previous relationship. I felt i need to find redemption. Its all starting to feel like a punishment. (maybe im just exacerbating)

I overlooked this part initially.

This somewhat changes the matter, also, I suspect you mean Exaggerating.

You definitely need to get this part clear in your head before you engage in ANY relationship. Very few successful, happy, relationships come of one partner giving up everything for the other. As years go by, all that results in is bitterness and resentment.

Successful relationships are things of compromise and understanding.

All relationships are things of self discovery as much as anything else, even if they do not work out. You learn a lot about yourself by how you deal with someone on such a personal level. Some of it nice, some of it not so much, sometimes we learn what we do right sometimes we realise we did things wrong.

There is certainly an amount of sacrifice in any relationship. We have to give up little things, compromise, etc... it's only between the two people ultimately what is reasonable. However, be very careful dragging guilt of previous relationships with you, it can easily get you taken advantage off.

You need to give her an ultimatum; either pursue a relationship with you, or drop you and fix things with the boyfriend. I know it sounds harsh, but unless she picks you the best thing would be to break off contact with her completely, since you'll just be a point of conflict in her life. It isn't fair on any of you. She's iffy about who to pick, you're envious of that which isn't yours to begin with, rather than jealous of something that is, and the boyfriend is... well, unfairly unaware as far as I know.

Craorach:

If I may be brutally honest.... this girl knows how you feel, which makes it slightly different from the situation my now wife and I were in... I hid my feelings until after the relationship in the US fell apart. There are two possibilities where she already knows, firstly that she is unhappy but unsure how to get out of her existing relationship.

The second, and sadly more likely, is that she is enjoying the attention of multiple people.

For your own sake, I suggest being the "bigger man".. remain friendly, try to help her, but find it in your heart to hold yourself back a bit from it.

One thing I wonder, is do you know the "other man", and does he know you?

That's alright, I encourage brutal honesty at all times :). I tried to held back my feelings quite a lot actually, but then I eventually spilled the beans, right around a few days after she "mentioned" her BF again after a long while. I'll admit I was being really emotional at that time.

As from your two hypothesis, it might be a mix of the two. She did mention how we talk a lot more than she talks with her Boyfriend. No, I don't know who her boyfriend is, and I don't think he knows me either. According to her, he does not use facebook, otherwise he would definitely caught wind of it. We post on each other's FB quite a lot.

...does it make any difference? good or bad?

As for the second possibility, at worst it might be very possible. She mostly talks/gets along with guys (she's a bit tomboy), and once when she had the breakdown about being "unfaithful" (mentioned in the first post), that was between her BF and another guy at her school, with her telling me how she felt -- that time I was still able to stay rational about it, and held my feelings at bay. She did end up giving up the guy at her school, as she actively avoids IRL relationships. She said its too complicated, but I think its most likely because of a traumatizing event in her past which she has told me about (can't disclose what happened to her, sorry).

... Am I falling for the same fate this guy had?

I am trying to be the bigger person, its just a bit hard for me to hold back my feelings at the moment. It does hurt quite a lot, but I'll have to try to learn to hold it back. I don't want to ruin the friendship. Its just that I can't get any peace at all. I'm breaking apart inside.

In one side its kind of "how far are you willing to sacrifice for her?" kind of thing perhaps... I failed this once with my previous relationship. I felt i need to find redemption. Its all starting to feel like a punishment. (maybe im just exacerbating)

I overlooked this part initially.

This somewhat changes the matter, also, I suspect you mean Exaggerating.

You definitely need to get this part clear in your head before you engage in ANY relationship. Very few successful, happy, relationships come of one partner giving up everything for the other. As years go by, all that results in is bitterness and resentment.

I suppose I should be more rational and don't go all in unless its a sure win-win situation?

I agree, its mostly a thing of "self discovery". I'll admit I still have a lot to go through, might still take me some time.

Icy Lemon:
You need to give her an ultimatum; either pursue a relationship with you, or drop you and fix things with the boyfriend. I know it sounds harsh, but unless she picks you the best thing would be to break off contact with her completely, since you'll just be a point of conflict in her life. It isn't fair on any of you. She's iffy about who to pick, you're envious of that which isn't yours to begin with, rather than jealous of something that is, and the boyfriend is... well, unfairly unaware as far as I know.

That's ok, no need to hold back :). If you put it that way, I might be just another point of conflict in her life and she isn't mine to begin with. I did held on to that for quite a while, but then things just always manage to find itself again somehow to where we were. But I suspect eventually she will distance herself from me. Yes, her boyfriend is relatively unaware of this at the moment.

The right thing to do is to of course kill the feelings I have towards her -- at least for now, as it is not right from the start to want something that isn't yours... but then is it what I really want to do? No, I don't want to lose her. I'm sure she'll "Run away" if I force her to choose, and it might just cause a fight instead -- although of course you wont know till you try.

But taking hints from your post, I probably need to make a decision at one point.

valkeminator:
She did end up giving up the guy at her school, as she actively avoids IRL relationships.

I'm not ignoring the rest of what you've said, but I feel you've gotten good advice and I wanted to address this specifically. In the past, I've been involved in two online relationships - one of them was strictly online and the other crossed over into RT after some time.

Strictly online relationships are incredibly problematic for several reasons. The biggest reason is that once you've developed emotional intimacy with someone online, it is very natural to want to take that IRL at some point. If she is unwilling to do that because she avoids relationships RT, you have to realize that this is going to be online only forever and after a while, for most people, that's not fulfilling.

So, if you do manage to become her one and only, are you prepared to never meet her IRL? That's what you need to ask yourself.

In regards to the change in her behavior after you told her how you feel: I have a strong tendency to distance myself from people who have stronger feelings for me than I do for them. I become very careful with my words and my tone so that it can't be in any way construed that I am leading them on. I'm not saying that's what she is doing, mind you, but I am saying that I behave in a similar way under the circumstances I've stated.

requisitename:

valkeminator:
She did end up giving up the guy at her school, as she actively avoids IRL relationships.

Strictly online relationships are incredibly problematic for several reasons. The biggest reason is that once you've developed emotional intimacy with someone online, it is very natural to want to take that IRL at some point. If she is unwilling to do that because she avoids relationships RT, you have to realize that this is going to be online only forever and after a while, for most people, that's not fulfilling.

So, if you do manage to become her one and only, are you prepared to never meet her IRL? That's what you need to ask yourself.

I never had a strictly online relationship before to be honest, mostly its IRL then cross over to Long Distance -- in fact this has been the case THREE times in a row by now, and you can guess how much I despise being unable to be with someone you love physically.

Therefore, yes I suppose you are right on the money, I end up feeling I want to see her IRL badly, and so forth... yet I did jokingly said if I were to make advances on her IRL, she will avoid me at all cost (which she answered yes) -- but this was during our "get to know" phase.

And If I have to ask myself... I definitely do not want virtual only relationship. If any I'd probably wait a few years or two, see if she changes at all. But I'm sure this will be a long and painful process. However, if she changes her mind, considering how NZ and UK are commonwealth, it would be possible for both of us to be united should she finally reconsiders having a real relationship.

But still, I do not want to lose the friendship at least... I barely have anyone I can talk to these days, to the extent of desperation that I asked this very question here right now... I truly have NO ONE I can ask for advice from IRL. Either they don't take it seriously, They dont care about it, I can't tell/talk to them, or I just really don't have much friends...

Then again, I can't talk any of this to her bluntly of course without preparation... It will only make things worse.

I usually have a lot of people from University (I'm currently a senior now), but thing is most people would only be interested to talk to you while you're studying... during holiday, most of them NEVER contacts me, they just disappear. This is real life I guess...

So far, we both kind of gotten a bit quiet with each other. I'll admit I can't seem to talk that much to her anymore these days as partly I'm trying my best to hold the emotion back, and somehow she just seem to not as talkative as usual. She doesn't greet me as much as she used to and sometimes she would message me already when I wake up, but now she doesn't do that much anymore... Although if any, things are turbulent for both of us at the moment... but definitely no more flirting is in sight at all. Perhaps we slightly distanced each other now which is killing me inside.

I suppose I may have gotten good advices so far, although I'm still relatively turbulent inside... I'm trying not to make a problem out of it as much as I can, I somewhat killed/sedate the emotion slightly (not completely, but I'd intentionally avoid arousing it whenever possible), which happened after I had a day where I did not talk to her at all.

I think what truly is bothering me is how she has a Boyfriend already, and perhaps its that feeling you get when you felt you receive less affection from her. I would ask her to choose in between her current BF and me, but that will just make me another burden in her. Besides, nothing would stop her to lie about it and just say she broke up (where in reality she didn't) just to take pity on me -- I do not want that.

Sorry for the long post/rant again.

valkeminator:

Therefore, yes I suppose you are right on the money, I end up feeling I want to see her IRL badly, and so forth... yet I did jokingly said if I were to make advances on her IRL, she will avoid me at all cost (which she answered yes) -- but this was during our "get to know" phase.

And If I have to ask myself... I definitely do not want virtual only relationship. If any I'd probably wait a few years or two, see if she changes at all. But I'm sure this will be a long and painful process. However, if she changes her mind, considering how NZ and UK are commonwealth, it would be possible for both of us to be united should she finally reconsiders having a real relationship.

I don't know (and I'm not asking you to tell me) why she doesn't want a RT relationship, but I can tell you that she's unlikely to change her mind anytime soon if what happened was that traumatic to her. That sounds belittling when I re-read it. Please don't take it that way, for I mean it sincerely.

But still, I do not want to lose the friendship at least... I barely have anyone I can talk to these days, to the extent of desperation that I asked this very question here right now... I truly have NO ONE I can ask for advice from IRL. Either they don't take it seriously, They dont care about it, I can't tell/talk to them, or I just really don't have much friends...

Then again, I can't talk any of this to her bluntly of course without preparation... It will only make things worse.

I usually have a lot of people from University (I'm currently a senior now), but thing is most people would only be interested to talk to you while you're studying... during holiday, most of them NEVER contacts me, they just disappear. This is real life I guess...

A lot, lot, lot of people (in my experience) view the internet as nothing more than a way to connect virtually with people they already know in RT. They've never gotten emotionally involved with someone they've never met, so they really can't understand that the feelings can be every bit as real as the ones you'd develop for someone you see every day IRL. It is outside their frame of reference, so they tend to dismiss it.

This is a good place to ask because there are people here who've been through similar situations and they don't judge you. It gives you a little safety while you try to work things out. It isn't perfect, but it's probably better than people who have no experience with what you're talking about.

So far, we both kind of gotten a bit quiet with each other. I'll admit I can't seem to talk that much to her anymore these days as partly I'm trying my best to hold the emotion back, and somehow she just seem to not as talkative as usual. She doesn't greet me as much as she used to and sometimes she would message me already when I wake up, but now she doesn't do that much anymore... Although if any, things are turbulent for both of us at the moment... but definitely no more flirting is in sight at all. Perhaps we slightly distanced each other now which is killing me inside.

I suppose I may have gotten good advices so far, although I'm still relatively turbulent inside... I'm trying not to make a problem out of it as much as I can, I somewhat killed/sedate the emotion slightly (not completely, but I'd intentionally avoid arousing it whenever possible), which happened after I had a day where I did not talk to her at all.

I think what truly is bothering me is how she has a Boyfriend already, and perhaps its that feeling you get when you felt you receive less affection from her. I would ask her to choose in between her current BF and me, but that will just make me another burden in her. Besides, nothing would stop her to lie about it and just say she broke up (where in reality she didn't) just to take pity on me -- I do not want that.

Honestly, it sounds to me like you may need to back away a bit and sort this out in your head before you continue. You can tell her that you need some time to figure out where you want to go from here, then use that time for exactly that. At this point, it seems like you're torturing yourself and that's never really helpful.

Decide what you want from this and move forward. I actually don't believe in ultimatums because they tend to backfire on the person issuing them. People don't like being forced to choose and it has been my experience that they more often choose the person not asking them to choose.

If I were in your position, I would tell the girl something along the lines of: "The way things are is too upsetting for me to continue this relationship. I'm going to leave you to your relationship with your boyfriend, and if at some point you decide you'd rather be with me, you know how to contact me." Then I would grieve and let it go. You're still putting the ball in her court, so to speak, but you're not forcing her to choose. And, you're giving yourself a break from what's hurting you.

There's that stupid old cliche that kind of fits here - If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it was meant to be yours.. and if it doesn't, it never was. And no, I'm not calling her a "thing". Basically, you're giving her a choice while also minimizing your exposure to pain. Everyone wins.

Sorry for the long post/rant again.

No need to apologize. :-) Getting it all out there can be very helpful.

I don't really understand people who choose to be in online relationships. I mean, it's cool to flirt with women online and all, but I would hardly call anything you do online a meaningful relationship.

I think it's unhealthy to be in an online relationship, and it's even more unhealthy to find yourself jealous and in despair over an online entity preferring another guy over you. You need to stop thinking of her as a love interest, your bonds are likely superficial and you will have little difficulty getting over this once you stop thinking about it.

My Little Brother was in an online relationship a while ago, and I thought it was absolutely pathetic, he left some love letters he received from her lying around the house, I couldn't believe this shit. She eventually "broke up" with him and he felt pretty bad about it for a few days, and then pretty much moved on, now he has real friends and not just online friends.

I really don't mean to be rude, just I honestly think that while the internet is a social place, it's not there to fulfill your every social needs. I've had many "friends" on the internet the past 15 years, and none of them ever meant a single thing to me over the years.

requisitename:
Snip

Thank you for your responses! Don't worry, I understood what you meant on those ones you highlighted. The exact cliche indeed is something I did got told once before and, despite having seen it can be true, it is a hard thing to do to be honest. One day you just suddenly not talk to each other at all. I talked to some of my buddies, it seems for me its best if I back out for now.

As for the progress, I had a talk with her yesterday, finally decided to just come clean and turns out both of us felt EXACTLY the same way. She was being quiet because she wanted to focus on her current BF it seems, as he has been complaining how he isn't getting much attention from her. Yet, she admits that me and her talk a lot more than her BF does. Although, if any difference I don't think she shares feelings with me anymore (back then she did occasionally) -- I'm more likely to be the one who vents, but since she is my current focus I don't vent as much as I used to.

We both Like each other, but then we both know it would be wrong to cheat on each other knowingly, and both of us are also trying not to give in to our emotions at the moment.

I think I will have to back out for now as she is focusing on her BF, and she is not mine to take from the start. I'll probably still talk to her normally but I guess both of us put up "barriers" around each other, if not I'll probably play passive -- I'll not start the convo unless she wants to. We still both don't want to lose the friendship, although I'm sure in the coming few days things will be "cold war" for a while...

Regnes:
Snip

That's alright, to be honest at one stage I did felt I'm pathetic, I mean... God I've became another whiny angsty teenager again?! *Seppuku self* ... but I guess stuff just happens. It's not for everyone I know, but then before there was internet you do get "pen-pals", and I consider this the modern equivalent.

Yes I'm aware at how ridiculous it is actually, liking someone you have not met yet. Then again these things do happen (somehow), this is my first time being in a 100% online only relationship -- previously it will be either Internet to RL, vice versa (3 Streaks in a row for Long distance -- woo...). But still, another issue is morally I do felt I'm stepping over the gray line. I did of course try to take this as nothing at first, but sometimes things just happen.

I've been through several relationships before, but I don't think I've threaded this gray line yet -- that is I HATE being cheated on -- It's the worst offense you can do with a girl, but yet "You Either Die a Hero, or Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become the Villain" fits here. Either way, I do think I'll probably find someone IRL eventually, but for now I can't seem to get any peace at all -- think of this as a "morality" issue if it helps.

I may be experienced, but I still have a lot to learn. Right now I may be unstable or whatever, but I'm hoping to pick up my pace again soon. These kind of stuff is a matter of self exploration, and thanks, I appreciate your input. :)

 

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