Come listen to me whine about my girl troubles, all the cool kids are doing it (long)

Technically I guess you won’t be listening, but you get the idea. I just need to vent my frustration out into the ether. I don’t want to talk to my friends about it because…well they know me and some of them know the girls involved and…hell that’s what this forum is for right? I am not really looking for advice, just a digital shoulder to lean on.

First off I guess I should explain the situation. My last serious girlfriend burned me badly. We were engaged and living together, and then one morning she woke up crying and told me that she was really sorry, but she didn’t love me and that we had to end it. She was probably the only girl I can honestly say I ever loved, and I was crushed. This was two years ago this august.

Fast forward to about 6 weeks ago. I have finally moved on with my life and started dating again, but hadn’t found anyone that I was interested enough in to start a serious relationship with. Some lasted a few weeks, one lasted almost two months, but none of them were ever serious by any definition of the word. And its hard for me to date these days because of my job. I work in the theater at night, and at an art gallery by day, and between the two of them, I don’t have a lot of time to do things like go out. But I am ok with that if not a little lonely.

I start working on a show with this girl (we will call her Emily) and she is really cool, but i am not attracted to her. But she is really cool, and I like hanging out with her and think she makes a great friend. As the show progresses, I start to notice that she seems to want to be more than just friends. This is a bit awkward, but I pretend not to notice and do my best not to lead her on hoping that it will all blow over eventually.

Then I meet her friend Beth.

Beth is stunningly beautiful. Beth is funny. Beth is smart. Beth is my type. Even better, Beth seems to like me. Beth is Emily’s best friend. Beth is very much not allowed to like me as Emily met me first, so for a while nothing comes of it.

Now for all of Beth’s good qualities, Beth is a bit damaged, and has a tendency to drink to excess. At this point the show I am working on with Emily is over and I should just run away. But a few weeks after I thought I saw the last of either of them, Beth calls me to invite me to Emily’s birthday party.

Lots of stuff happens as the birthday party, but the upshot is Beth gets drunk, kisses me and then immediately curses herself for being a bad friend and a horrible human being. Since she is drunk, I let it go and the evening ends without any more excitement. No one saw the kiss, no harm no foul. The next day I get a call from Beth apologizing, saying that she didn’t remember much about the evening but was told she had passed out on me for about a half hour, and that she is sooo sorry and embarassed. I foolishly ask her if she remembers anything about the evening at all…long pause on her end of the phone. “I remember kissing you.” She then goes tells me that she really likes me a lot, and if not for Emily she would be all over me, but she can’t hurt Emily, and that the kiss was a mistake and she is really sorry.

It is at this point that I ask her out.

Beth and I are now dating, kind of. We have been seeing each other, as more than just friends for almost 2 weeks. I know I shouldn’t have asked her out, and she really shouldn’t have said yes, but sometimes people are just drawn together like magnets. And the whole us starting to date wasn’t as cut and dry as I just wrote it to be. But that is where I am today. Because Emily can’t know we are dating things are…weird and complicated. Beyond that Beth is, as I said, damaged. On our second date she said to me that she has a problem with love, not that she can’t love, but that she can’t handle being loved. Not a problem now I don’t love her, but I very easily see myself falling for her, even with all the damage, and I don’t want to get hurt. But I don’t see any way out of this, because I don’t seem capable of just walking away. She also said today that she didn’t want to see me for a few days, because we spent three nights in a row together already this week, and too much togetherness freaks her out. :smack: I should run, I know I should run. If any of my friends were telling me this I would say to them, run away and don’t look back.

But she is the only person in the last two years that I have even remotely felt this way about. I think about her and want to be with her all the time. We have spent the last week IMing each other all day long from work, and I spent the night at her house the other day. I feel like a relationship, potentially a good one, is starting to form and I am frightened by all the obstacles, and mad that I can’t just walk away.

I know that there is no way that this won’t end badly, but I really need to try to make it work. I don’t know why, but I do. Things shouldn’t be this complicated. The thing with Emily would be plenty to deal with. Her neurosis would be huge to handle on its own, and my neurosis IS huge. All on their own these problems would be more than enough to seriously put into question any chance of things working out. But put all three together :frowning: .

I am so screwed. I am in my early 20’s, why do I feel like this is something out of a bad high school soap opera. I should be more mature than this, I should not still be having these problems. Isn’t life supposed to work out more easily when you are a grown up? I am sure someone told me that when I was little. Well how much longer till I stop acting like a kid.

I should run, but I am not going to. Instead I am going to chat online with her while I am at work tomorrow and Friday, and then go to a concert with her Saturday and sleep over at her place. Because when we are together, its really good. Good in a way it hasn’t been in two years. Not with anybody. I need this to stay good for a little while more. I am a selfish asshole, because I am not the only one who stands to get hurt in this senario. I know that. But I have to figure out how to make this work.

That is all, commence with the telling me to stop being a whiney bitch.

What? You haven’t done anything with Emily other than just be pals, and Beth is acting like she must have some surreptitious relationship with you. Is there some invisible brand women put on men they are interested in that all other women must respect regardless of the man’s level of interest?

This is incredibly juvenile and Beth does not sound overly mature. You need to put your foot down with dizzy Beth re this double plus secret nonsense.

You’re married? Nope.

You’re engaged? Nope.

You’re living with Emily, dating Emily…? Nope, nope…

I realize theatre people tend to be drama queens, but sweet Jesus on a fuchsia cross, if every time a girl likes some guy he became ineligible for every other woman, the species would be over!

Some girls do. And it’s not just theatre people. It’s ridiculous. It’s not like calling shotgun or calling dibs on the last piece of pizza. I mean, I could understand not dating one of your friend’s exes immediately after she broke up with him, but if things haven’t even progressed to the date stage–psst. No promises to break. I’m happy to say that none of my friends are girls who call dibs, because I think I might have to throttle them if they were.

And can I just say that I’m very glad this didn’t turn out to be a “nice guy” thread?

Ditto the absurdity of the notion that you’re property of Emily. You need to tell her about your relationship with Beth immediately. The longer you wait, the more upset she’s gonna be about it. Just get it out of the way and hope you can all remain friends.

Good luck, man. I hope it’s not as much of a train-wreck-waiting-to-happen as you think it is.

Seconded. Thirded, even.

As for the OP, go for it. Yeah, being burned is wretched stuff (I had a situation similar to your breakup, and please believe I have some faint sense of how you feel). Yeah, it might end up blowing up in your face and leaving you hurting far worse.

It might also not.

But do bear in mind that this situation with Beth and Emily needs to be resolved before you pursue things further. (I think it does, anyway.) While I don’t at all get the notion of first-to-a-boy-gets-him, the important thing isn’t so much to accept it as acknowledge it and work through it. You never had a dating relationship with Emily. You haven’t led her on, and you have no plans to. She wants you, and you’re flattered and all that, but you don’t think things would work out with her.

Beth, OTOH, might just need something to believe in. I’m not a relationship therapist (or anything close to that), and what you’ve presented is a sliver of a glimpse at her mind, but that’s how it seems to me.

Do something, though, for those of us who’ve heard “You’re such a good friend [and so utterly uninteresting as anything more]” and “I really like you as a friend[, and that’s all you’re getting, because you bore me]”? Don’t feed Emily classic lines like that. Do better than people who use those.

Well it’s good to know that I am not alone in thinking that the situation is stupid. Beth and I have talked about it a lot and we both agreed that we don’t want to be forced to end the relationship, but I was told in no uncertain terms that if she had to chose she would pick Emily over me. Emily is her best friend, her family took Beth in after Beth’s mom died. They are all very important to her. I on the other hand, am just a guy she has only known for a month.

I understand this position. What I don’t understand, or like, is that Emily has, as Miss Purl McKnittington, put it “called dibs” on me. Don’t I get any say?

It is good to know that not all women behave this way, and it isn’t part of some idiotic “girl code”. Gives me hope that one of them will snap out of it.

What’s funny about that, is that I am totally a “nice guy.” By any definition you could ask for I fit into that catagory, only I have never had trouble getting dates when I wanted them. Clearly I have other worries at the moment.

Thanks for letting me get this out there. I felt better about the whole thing the second I hit submit, It isn’t better, but it helped to just get it off my chest.

You’re welcome. That will be $5 and a box of Cadbury’s Fingers.

Watch it, they’ll come revoke your badge.

Because it is.

A) Emily needs to grow a pair.

B) Beth is “damaged” and drinks too much. She is not available for a healthy relationship with you. If you’re looking for drama and angst, she’s probably available for that. If you really are looking for an adult relationship, run like hell. Now.

This is the part that bugs me. If this is in reference to Emily getting all upset over your relationship, then I have some concern about that. I can understand feeling heartbroken that the guy you were crushing on actually likes your best friend, but hello, if you spend a lot of time with him and he shows no real interest, that means he wasn’t into you anyway.