I’ve dated a man for two years, we’re both early-mid 20s. We’re monogamous, met each other’s friends and roommates, have some mutual friends.
We’re between friends with benefits and boyfriend/girlfriend.
I’m graduating university, he has another year. I’ve secured a job four hours away from our university.
I’m unsure about having a long-distance relationship.
We haven’t achieved typical “mile markers” (i.e. meeting each other’s parents/families).
Also, his pessimism, especially about finishing school late (his fault), and potentially poor job prospects, can really bring me down.
However, I care for him as both friend and partner. We get along, share common interests, and enjoy each other’s company.
“Girlfriend” or FWB?
It seems you haven’t had the confidence in your own feelings to open this conversation. But after two years, it’s time to have The Talk.
Honesty and kindness should rule. If it’s been a mutually respectful friends-with-benefits relationship, accept that fact.
A natural distance break is the best way to assess things. Discuss this openly.
In high school I fell in love with “J” and gave him my virginity. I was 17.
Years later, my twin sister revealed her secret, first making me vow to not be mad. She’d slept with “J.”
It happened on a night when he’d been intimate with me later!
I was devastated, angry, and crushed that she’d do this to me and also unburden herself by telling me.
Through years of therapy and depression counselling, this incident emerged in every session.
My twin called me “crazy for still hanging on to this.”
There were repeated nightmares of the event, and I always felt in competition with her.
But I managed to stop talking about it, because it upset her.
Now, 30 years later, the nightmares have returned.
She's been adding men from my Facebook and Instagram. She's not met any of them but when I question her motives, she says she thinks they’re cute.
Recently, there was another man, with whom I’ve dated and been intimate.
I changed privacy settings, hid my friends, and blocked her from certain things.
I then watched on my Facebook as she put hearts on every comment that man made. I felt nauseated, angry, jealous, hurt.
I sent her a text, asking her to please not add this particular man. I explained that she stirs up negative memories for me, triggers me, and hurts me deeply. Yet she's added him.
Meanwhile, she's told the guy this is about me controlling him.
I responded by telling him I feel sad that he feels that way, but I can no longer be his friend.
She’s still sending me emails, which I don’t answer.
I need to move on, this has been going on for years. I need counselling.
I told her, I wish you well, I love you, but this is where I begin to protect my heart.
Am I crazy and asking for too much?
At A Loss
You know yourself best. Getting back to counselling to deal with these triggers is paramount.
Your relationship as twins has a history of competition, love, hurt, even betrayal.
A process of therapy can help you understand its origins – perhaps even started by others in the family, with you two as pawns.
You’re not crazy. But the current dynamic between you is particularly harmful to you.
It’s clearly difficult to cut contact with a twin. But you’re wise to now focus on yourself.
Getting professional help and deeper insight can lift you from depression and recurrent nightmares.
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“After about six weeks of an elimination diet, she found out that she had an intolerance to gluten, which aggravated the lining of her bladder.
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“Now she enjoys life again, except for missing bread terribly. However, it’s a small price to pay for her freedom from pain and pills.”
Tip of the day:
Uncertainty about a relationship can clear from a break followed by honest discussion.