What Would Debbie Do?
Too Fast Too Soon?
I stumbled across your advice column and figured that maybe you could give me some advice on my situation. I am a 24-year-old male who has never experienced a serious relationship. I have plenty of friends who are girls, but have just never found the right one. About a year and a half ago a good friend of mine, (older by about two years), separated from her husband of six years and is currently in the process of a divorce. She lived pretty close and I figured that I would be there for her as a friend if she needed one, but over the course of the next few months we became really close. No sex, but we did eventually hold hands, kiss, then sleep together on occasion.
Neither of us planned on things going as far as they went, because her divorce is not finalized yet. We had talked about the possibility of more after the divorce and after she had time to think, but everything just sort of happened slowly. We were never really “in a relationship” because of her situation, but now we are “separated” because I – according to her – didn’t “care for her and respect her enough to wait and do things right.”
I actually do agree with her. I know what she feels and I understand why she feels that way, but at the same time I really do truly love her and care for her, we just made a mistake and went too far too fast. We still talk all the time and she still calls occasionally just to say hi or share a funny story. We are still good friends. She has expressed her regret of the way things are between us now, and has said that she still loves me too, but just can’t imagine being with me. I understand I hurt her and I don’t want to hurt her again, but I also can’t imagine ever loving anyone else again. We started with friendship and everything I have done since has been based in the love we have, not to get “love” or affection.
I don’t know what to do or what to think about this right now. I want to be with her the rest of my life, but at the same time I don’t want to cause her anymore hurt than she has already gone through in her married life. I don’t know if she still wants to be together and this is just a phase, or if she wants to move on. What should I do?
Now I’m confused. What happened that made her say that you don’t care for her and respect her? The sleeping together? The holding hands and kissing? Because if that’s what it is, then I would say she’s just as culpable as you for “crossing the line” which, by the way, I don’t even see.
You said she was separated and planning a divorce. So … what’s the problem? The bottom line, though, is that if you love her, and she’s that special to you, go back in there and fight for her. If she feels the same, her walls will break down, and, if she’s truly done with her marriage, she’ll see just how much you love her, and hopefully, you’ll be together again. I hope it works out … that’s what I would do.