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Rebuilding friendship with loved one


Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

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Old 4th December 2014, 9:31 AM   #1
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Rebuilding friendship with loved one

Question:
I need some advice people. I've been family friends with this one girl for my entire life. This girl and I always had feelings for each other. I hurt her when I got a gf (she loved me but never told me), then got back together with my ex. We broke up, but feelings never died for this other girl. We always seem to come back to each other - so to speak. Its a blessing feelings on both sides have stuck around this long and our families are still friends. I want to give things a fair chance this time around. She has her walls build up. Need be work first on building that friendship and trust we had.

Any advice is appreciated.

The summary is below if you'd like to get a better idea of the situation. See bolded parts for key points, or full story for more details.





A very long story short-er

3 years ago, I just started seeing someone when she finally was going to tell me she loved me - I would say it before, but it was never reciprocated. She was finally going to tell me how she felt the weekend I got a girlfriend. The girl and I didn't talk for close to 2 years, same with her family. I thought that was best because I hurt her by being with someone else. It caused a very big rift between us/families

Last year, ex and I broke up. This girl came back into the picture based on the advice of my therapist to rekindle the friendship. I did. Feelings came back as always, then that girl started to distance herself (again, because of walls she built up). When she pushed back, my ex pulled me back in. Ex and I got back together.

Ex and I broke up a bit over 2 months ago, though I knew it were coming for a few months, this time I ended it. Feelings still there for other girl. They've always been there, never gone away. Everytime we see each other, its evident its this way on both sides. Its like SHE has this hold on me... I can be happy being with someone else, but SHE makes me the happiest. That's why even when I had a gf, I never wanted to see that girl because I knew feelings would come bac

Her parents spoke with me on two separate occations (once 4 months ago when things were on the rocks with my ex, last time this past weekend).

They told me she is still in love with me, kept all my notes/gifts, I was the only serious guy in her life. How the parents love me and will, but to "fight" for her and bust my ass to tear down the walls she has up.

Saw her over thanksgiving. We talked about things. Called her a few days ago and broke down apologizing. I'd apologize profusely, but never like that because its hard for me to "open up" like that to people and break down in front of others. It was the type of apology she deserved when we talked over the weekend.

I called her last night. In short, we both love each other, but she has even bigger walls built up now. I know she still cares about me, hell, she told me she loves me and always will. But, we need to rebuild that friendship again. We both want to. We both miss that friendship. She said she can't make promises that it will lead into anything (I told her I understood and it wouldn't be giving things a fair chance to let things happen if I told her I expected it).

The reason I thought it wouldn't work out in the past was distance. She lives about a 7-8 hr drive away.

I know I need to take things slow. But more importantly, forget and force any thoughts of a relationship out of my head right now, or else I feel like I'd be always wanting more.


Yes, I'm sure I'm going to get a lot of hate about being an *******, I'm expecting that. But I did what I thought what was best for me. I didn't think talking to her while I had a gf was smart. She pushed away, ex pulled me back. I figured I'd give it another shot. Regardless, I need some advice on how to rebuild a friendship like this.

Last edited by xUnknown; 4th December 2014 at 11:23 AM.. Reason: to make shorter for readers
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Old 4th December 2014, 8:32 PM   #2
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She's lost some trust and is afraid of getting hurt by you again. I have kind of been in her position and as I told the guy, I'd marry you, but I wouldn't date you. What I meant was that I needed commitment and exclusivity of the solemn vow type to even get involved at all again. You want to take it slow, but you need to start out by telling her that you want to take it slow, but that you are offering her exclusivity from the get-go. I can't imagine this wouldn't be the right thing to say. She knows you're sincere and serious. It's just exclusivity. Plenty of people do it with everyone they date or they don't date. It's a way of showing good faith that you're making your best effort. Good luck.
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Old 5th December 2014, 8:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preraph View Post
She's lost some trust and is afraid of getting hurt by you again. I have kind of been in her position and as I told the guy, I'd marry you, but I wouldn't date you. What I meant was that I needed commitment and exclusivity of the solemn vow type to even get involved at all again. You want to take it slow, but you need to start out by telling her that you want to take it slow, but that you are offering her exclusivity from the get-go. I can't imagine this wouldn't be the right thing to say. She knows you're sincere and serious. It's just exclusivity. Plenty of people do it with everyone they date or they don't date. It's a way of showing good faith that you're making your best effort. Good luck.
Thanks for your reply Preraph. That underlined part got me thinking a bit confused, can you clearify? There were a couple double-negatives in there that got me slipped up.

She has her guard up (as I would too), though I know her heart wants to pursue things. She mentioned the part where she can't promise it will lead into anything, because then she isn't building a genuine friendship, if in the back of her head there is a promise she must keep that we are going to date. In a sense, it wouldn't be building a genuine friendship if I knew what was going to happen in the end. So, she and I agreed to keep in touch, talk more as friends and see where things go and life takes us.

I told her I plan on taking time off from dating and focusing on myself. I feel like if she had no interest on pursuing things at all, we wouldn't have agreed on working as friends. We both know we want more than just a friendship together, but that's how we need to start to rebuild that trust.
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Old 5th December 2014, 1:26 PM   #4
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Why yes, there is a double negative there. I'm saying I think you should, though starting out slow and basically trying to rebuild your friendship, offer her exclusivity in doing so because it should help her trust issues. Tell her you don't want her having to worry about whether you're falling for someone else while you work on your relationship. Tell her she has your full attention. Then move at a slow pace, doing things together like dates. Don't let her forget you are interested romantically, and you can do that by putting your hand on her back to usher her into a chair or through a door and just small things like that. A kiss at the end of the night if you think she's up for it. Don't just pull all the way back and only give the friend vibe because it's a black hole too many people fall into while taking it slow. Just offer her some security. At some point, make an agreement how much in-between date contact she would like. Discuss your needs in that regard and hers as well and find a compromise so neither of you is suffocating the other or neither of you feels disconnected. It sounds like you have communication, so that truly is a good sign. Good luck.
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Old 5th December 2014, 2:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by preraph View Post
Why yes, there is a double negative there. I'm saying I think you should, though starting out slow and basically trying to rebuild your friendship, offer her exclusivity in doing so because it should help her trust issues. Tell her you don't want her having to worry about whether you're falling for someone else while you work on your relationship. Tell her she has your full attention. Then move at a slow pace, doing things together like dates. Don't let her forget you are interested romantically, and you can do that by putting your hand on her back to usher her into a chair or through a door and just small things like that. A kiss at the end of the night if you think she's up for it. Don't just pull all the way back and only give the friend vibe because it's a black hole too many people fall into while taking it slow. Just offer her some security. At some point, make an agreement how much in-between date contact she would like. Discuss your needs in that regard and hers as well and find a compromise so neither of you is suffocating the other or neither of you feels disconnected. It sounds like you have communication, so that truly is a good sign. Good luck.

Thanks very much for clearing all that up for me. I agree completely with everything you've mentioned. The only issue is the distance. She lives several hours away. So I figured instead of the dates, we can talk on skype instead of texting or talking on the phone. Texting for the quick pop in/pop out how are you doing, then skype for more involved conversation.

I figured when I see her next we'd do small little "dates" here or there. But I'm getting ahead of myself, I need to just take things slow and let them naturally happen.

Last year when things started this way contact was even, we both managed to alternate (without planning it) on who would text/initiate skype every week.

As far as the little gestures that show her I'm interested, I did just that this past weekend. Hand behind the back leading her through the door, holding hands while watching a movie, even ended up "spooking" with my arm around her waist/holding hands. Hugs goodbye I'd do the kiss in the side of the neck/shoulder.

She knows I'm interested. I just have to keep her knowing that I still am. And you're right. I need to cut out the dating, and prove to her I'm not looking for anyone else right now --which is true (I'm calling this girl I had 2 dates with tonight to tell her that I'm not emotionally ready).
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Old 5th December 2014, 3:32 PM   #6
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Well, long distance is a challenge, but Skype is at least face-to-face communication. The only limitation is if you were saying things face to face, it would be natural and easy to reach out and touch her arm and little things like that to make physical contact. So it's good you're doing that when you are in person. You just don't want her to forget you want it to remain romantic. Some guys hold off entirely for fear it will scare the girl off if they are not ready to hold hands or kiss or whatever, but then they end up with a friendship when they really wanted more. So it's really best that if it implodes because one feels romantic and the other is content with being friends, that it do it sooner rather than later, I think. In this case, you are on solid ground because of communication being good and at least you know what she says she thinks she wants and that you're moving in the same direction together. Do see her in person as often as possible. It's just so important to bonding.
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Old 5th December 2014, 3:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Well, long distance is a challenge, but Skype is at least face-to-face communication. The only limitation is if you were saying things face to face, it would be natural and easy to reach out and touch her arm and little things like that to make physical contact. So it's good you're doing that when you are in person. You just don't want her to forget you want it to remain romantic. Some guys hold off entirely for fear it will scare the girl off if they are not ready to hold hands or kiss or whatever, but then they end up with a friendship when they really wanted more. So it's really best that if it implodes because one feels romantic and the other is content with being friends, that it do it sooner rather than later, I think. In this case, you are on solid ground because of communication being good and at least you know what she says she thinks she wants and that you're moving in the same direction together. Do see her in person as often as possible. It's just so important to bonding.

She said she isn't sure exactly what she wants, but, I know a lot of that is based on her guard being up. Her actions when we are together show otherwise. This past weekend we went out to a bar and I accidentally bumped into a girl who was with her friend, I apologized and kept walking. They then "opened" to me and tried to keep talking. All this was right in front of our table. Oh man did she get jealous, when I clearly wasnt showing interest in them, rather, they were showing interest in me. I get back and then she's feeling my arm muscles (I'm rather fit) and then later in the car ride home is more or less laying across me with her head in my arms.

I genuinely believe she does want to be with me (as she has throughout her life and as her parents have said to me, 4 months ago and again this past weekend), but her saying she isn't sure is her way of putting up the front. I believe she says this so that I have to prove myself to her - so she isn't getting hurt again.

I do see her as often as possible. And being comfortable, flirtations, and the light physical flirting (playful touching/teasing) definitely happens when we're together. I will most likely see her over Presidents Day weekend when their family drives down to visit us. Though, that is V-day weekend... my thought is drive out a day or two sooner for that, then I'd drive back down with them. But, now I'm trying to plan things too far into the future I feel. Though, I feel it is a good though.
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