|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 18, Tuesday May 8, 2007|
Interpreter Of Maladies
This is indeed a big problem for an 18-year-old girl. This problem is causing stress in you resulting in diminished sleep and appetite. This problem requires both your heart and brain to work in the same direction to reach a peaceful solution that is not always very easy. However, positively speaking - it's a learning process and learning is important for emotional growth that at times can be quite painful.
Humans (like other animals) are polygamous by nature but they are monogamous either by personal choice or by social/religious/familial/legal pressure. It is not unlikely to develop feelings (a desire to get closer or romantically involved) for a friend of the opposite sex after knowing each other for a while. In fact, as soon as one starts falling for another, red flags should go up and steps need to be taken in the direction one wants to go. Initial denial of the feelings tends to further complicate the situation.
You already have a boyfriend who loves you dearly, understands you and is very nice to you. These are the positive sides of this relationship. Do some soul searching to find out what is missing in this relationship that allows room for another person to sneak in? Counselling sessions can help you find out your taste in men and the nature of work you need to do to maintain a long term relationship.
Your male friend is arrogant and is not interested in having a relationship with you. Your statement “My boyfriend is so nice and I like him a lot but I guess I have started liking my friend more” has clarified your position more in favour of your friend. You have mostly used past tense in describing your relationship with your boyfriend. That probably indicates that you two have drifted away from each other. Well, women who are risk takers and love to be challenged may find arrogant men quite attractive. The relationship with your boyfriend seems to be quite granted and hence potentially boring. A thrill seeking young teenage girl may like to chase someone who is not readily available to her. However, once this “prince charming” falls in the trap and the initial honeymoon phase passes by, this infatuation might come to an end. On the other hand, if you two are a perfect match for each other it may prove to be a more compatible relationship in the long run. To answer- “Why am I going through such a phase?” What else do you expect to happen if someone is moving around with her heart hanging in her sleeve and is ready to give away bits and pieces of it to others without being careful enough to save some for her own self?
I guess most men and women who enter into premarital relationships are quite aware of the risks involved and accept it for their own reasons. If you are already fantasising about your male friend then you know your relationship with your boyfriend is at stake. However, having sporadic feelings for someone else doesn't necessarily mean that this two year long relationship is totally over. Besides, you are only eighteen, which is a very easily impressionable stage of life and the chances of forming a mature relationship in a free society at this stage is quite bleak. Since emotions are running high at this stage of life, a very high percentage of romantic relationships eventually fall apart.
The guilt you are suffering is probably telling you to do some self-exploration. After feeling confused for a while if you continue to pine for this friend and eventually decide to rekindle the relationship, at least as a decent human being instead of dumping your boyfriend all of a sudden prepare him for what to expect from you in future. This damage control measure can help you to feel a little bit better. If necessary take some time out just to be with yourself. If your male friend is not yet interested in a relationship then take this opportunity to build a relationship with yourself instead of wasting energy after someone unattainable!
Besides, your college is over and you are going to coaching classes probably to prepare for an exam. In that case, ask yourself if you are creating this crisis/drama subconsciously to escape the stress of the exam. Counselling or therapy sessions can further explore whether this is a self sabotage (stemming from low self-esteem), attachment problem resulting from childhood experiences; re-enactment of past unresolved conflicts with other significant male figures to overcome the feelings of abandonment or rejection; relationship addiction that involves impulsivity and works mainly on a pleasure principle rather than on a reality principle, etc.
Calling someone “characterless” is a judgment often made by people who have no empathy for others. They make such harsh comments when someone is fooling around and is not taking any responsibility for messing up other people's lives by their deceitful action. Do you identify yourself as one of them? Do you judge people as “characterless” if they are cheating on others?
If you are truthful to your conscience and try your best to resolve this problem genuinely instead of playing fake, probably your good-hearted boyfriend will also appreciate that honesty. This could save you both from future mishaps (e.g. hostility, revengefulness, divorce after having children etc.). After all this kind of premarital relationship is meant to be a trial to find the right match. If this is not working, just accept it. If the passion has already died down, it would be wiser not to sugar-coat it or put a band-aid on it and convert it into an “on again-off again” kind of relationship. You have the right to change your mind if that is what you want to do. If you are not harming anybody and you are not doing anything illegal, do whatever your morality allows you to do. If everything plays out well, you might end up with the right person. If not then there will be two or none!
Good luck with this love venture.
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Under A Different Skys
I was looking for negative words today- “denial,” “addicted,” “codependent” and I got stuck…at codependent…or codependence…while the word doesn't sound as negative because it's so close to independent, it's so different with it's own bag of issues.
It wasn't always that I understood the concept because codependency existed everywhere I looked and not necessarily was it looked down upon. I mean who ever thought a mother was emotionally crippled if she waited late with a plate of dinner for her son to come home and eat. Not to mention, almost all the early love affairs and relationships I know of were codependent, where the two parties were needy and wanted to be needed and anything besides that seemed to make the love not strong enough. This was the era when acting independent was nothing but a recipe to hurt the other. This was when the balance between independence and dependence was still to be found; when “Tomake chara ami bachbo na” as in I can't live without you was still a romantic phrase. Remember that era? I do. When being a girl and reliant was still hip and being a man and possessive was more than right. In fact if you weren't possessive towards your woman your love was seriously questioned. And if you didn't depend on your man for rides to go home and opinions about every little detail of your being you were just not in love enough.
Things have changed everywhere, I think they have…haven't they? People can define words a bit more easily now, like the word pamper. A word that can be used both negatively or with positive connotation-positive when pampering remains at healthy indulgence and negative when pampering becomes an essential part of someone's daily routine and their over indulgent beings can no longer survive without it. And someone- a mother, a father, a sibling, a lover or a spouse enables that behaviour. That's when codependency is created. I know, I have seen it.
A dictionary definition says codependency is a condition that results in a dysfunctional relationship between the codependent and other people. A codependent is addicted to helping someone. They need to be needed. This addiction is sometimes so strong that the codependent will cause the other person to continue to be needy.
So I wondered about my relationships, about how dysfunctional or functional they were, and I was satisfied that they were not (yet) unhealthy. Yet I was not sure when I might cross that line, or someone else might, when my insecurities will overtake my desires to be needed and I will make myself more important than I really am.
I am not a mother, and I don't see myself being one in a very long time but I hope that if I ever do become one, I will not create another me- someone who has to ponder about codependency, because I want my child and yours to live without feeling needy or needed, only wanted. I want to want them but not oblige them; I want to love them but not pamper them; I want to protect them but not possess them; and I don't want to own. I want the word codependence to disappear, can't it? To save a few lives?
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