A strong argument for the second-time-around.
Dear Captain Awkward:
I’m caught in my own head and could use a guide to get out of it. There’s a gentleman who’s recently come back into my life. We first connected two years ago when he was separated from his (second) wife and while we talked all of the time and hung out a bit nothing ever came of it datewise. He faded out on me and it was a bit painful, last I had heard he had gotten back together with his wife to see if things could work.
They obviously could not. He’s now living on his own (well, with his kids) and found me on a dating site. He apologized for disappearing (understood, lots of shit going on, obviously! Had I known, I wouldn’t have gotten at all involved/interested the first time around) and I generally feel like people deserve a second chance. We’ve started talking again and hanging out as friends but the potential for more is there. We’re both still insanely attracted to one another and get along like gangbusters.
We’ve tried talking about where things are headed and how we should approach whatever kind of relationship (friends? more?) is developing, but I think we both make it more confusing when we try to use our words. And not to sound condescending but I’m not sure that HE knows what he wants/needs at this point. He’s only been separated about 4 months so far and living on his own for the first time in a long time. He wants to just take things as they come and go with the flow. My heart agrees but I’m afraid I’m (we’re) going to be too intense too soon after meeting up again and clicking so well..and then he’ll freak out a little while down the road. I like this guy too much for him to be a booty call or friends with benefits, I can do just friends but then both of us need to turn the flirting and romantic overtones WAY down, stat. I’m not sure how to reconcile what he might need with what I want or how to approach the whole damn thing. I also don’t know what words to use or how to use them when we end up just talking in circles and end up back at ‘I like you, you like me, let’s see what happens’.
“Why didn’t you ever send any flowers?” “You scared the shit out of me.”
Dear Captain Awkward,
I hope you and your army of awesome readers can help me! I’m 28 and I find myself in the awkward position of getting divorced and simultaneously losing my best friend. Long story short, I was also dating my best friend and we broke up so she can go back to her Darth Vader Husband. I’m really hurting, but I know that I created a lot of my hurt by my own choices because I was blinded by happy pants-feelings and my own need to fix/nuture the people in my life.
What I need help with is this: I have a long history of picking people in my life who need fixing. Specifically, I meet and quickly become close friends with beautiful, intelligent, articulate women who either have relationships with Darth Vaders or end up having relationships with Darth Vaders. And I’m talking baby daddy doesn’t have a job and gives you a curfew and tells you how to spend your money (uses your paycheck to buy pot, etc) and maybe hits you Darth Vaders. I then keep my mouth shut for months (years) attempting to keep the peace because I care for these women a great deal and value their friendship. Eventually though, I end up telling them how I feel about their partners because I get so frustrated with the situation. Then, my friend inevitably leaves me because her relationship with her Darth Vader is more important to her.
Okay, so I probably should keep my opinions about other peoples’ relationships to myself, and if I’m not going to I should use my words instead of building it all up. But this is my question, how do I find people who don’t have exceptionally dysfunctional relationships? Is that even possible? Because while I’m rebuilding my life (I tend to have only a few close friends and my friend tally is very low right now), I’m hoping to invest in some relationships that have staying power. I don’t want to lose a friend in 3 or 5 years because she likes to date assholes. And even more importantly than that, how do I stop picking people who need fixing? Are there signs? Like big neon flashing ones that say “broken and in need of a codependent relationship” so that I can avoid or keep at arms length?
I’ve lost two friends to Darth Vaders in the past year, and I don’t know how many more losses of friends I can take. And when I start dating again, I’d really like to have a better way to determine if the person I’m dating is capable of being my partner not my project. Also, is it me? Am I just that fucked up and I don’t even know it? Are there really that many Darth Vaders in the world?
Keeping company with Darth Vader’s wife