Did I rush into things?

I just broke up with my girlfriend and went straight into another relationship. Trouble is, I don’t feel very sure.

Why not try being unattached for a while, asks our elder.

Dear EWC

I’m a senior in high school. Overall, I’d say I’m confused on what to do. I had just recently broken up with my past girlfriend of two years about four or so weeks ago. I did not have a backup, and I’m glad I didn’t have one. I broke up with her because we had multiple talks about spontaneousness and intimacy. Like how I was putting in all the effort, and how, if I never initiated it, she’d never hug me. We agreed to be friends, so far, apart from it expectedly being awkward, I’d say is the right choice. I know it in my heart, and we have a good friendly relationship, but that left me craving a new relationship where someone put in just as much effort as me.

Shortly after my breakup, a girl had asked if I was interested in her over a private message. I don’t know whether it was me being starved for affection or what, but I said yes. It’s about two weeks into this new relationship and I’m unsure. I’m unsure as to whether I genuinely like her or what. I want to say that she is very sweet — she even told all of her friends about me. We went on two dates and she gave me affection, she hugged me without me needing to say so. So why do I feel so unsure? At the risk of sounding shallow, I do not find her very attractive. I feel horrible saying that, as she is sweet. I’m not sure what to do. She’s a great girl, and she likes me I know it, but I’m so confused, and I’m not sure what to do.

CraigJ replies

Here’s a couple of thoughts that might help.

One, yeah, you probably rushed into things a bit, not so much by going out with someone, but by getting too involved too quickly. There is a place in between where you can let people know you’re not really ready to dive too deeply into something while still seeing them. Just keep this in mind from now on – don’t get too close too fast unless you’re really sure it’s right. It’s just too hard on both sides when you call it quits. Put this into the ‘live and learn’ category.

Two, I agree with you that spontaneity and affection are cornerstones of relationships, at least for many people. Just be careful about expecting too much from the people you see at early ages; people tend to develop and grow over time and who they are now is not always who they will be in a few years. My point is just to be careful in setting standards that people have to meet when you’re dating; sometimes connections just seem to happen and your list of requirements can just go out the door.

Three, there is nothing wrong with you for not being attracted to someone else, even if you like them. While I support giving relationships time to actually grow, and learning what you really want from other people, if it’s not what you want, move on. In the end, you just can’t kid yourself; if it’s not there, it’s not there. I used to have a roommate who used a lot of the same words you used here, and I’d kid him a lot because he just couldn’t be honest with himself; if you’re not into something, it’s just really hard to fake it.

Four, you may want to consider not being in a close relationship for a while, especially after a break-up. For the life of me, I can’t understand why younger people — especially in high school — want to get so serious, so soon. Is there really anything wrong with being young and free and unattached? It just seems that people are so in need of relationships that they lose out on some of the joy of being young, namely being carefree, unconnected and able to do whatever you want. Trust me when I tell you that the phase where you’re with someone for a very long time, lasts a very long time. You’re young; be young.

We learn quite a bit from our later teen years and into our twenties, especially about who we are, what we want from life, and who seems to be a good fit for us over time; while there can be a lot of drama here, it’s generally a lot of fun as well, so just relax, enjoy the ride and don’t get too distraught over what happens along the way — things seem to work out pretty well in the end if we take our time, keep our eyes open and learn about ourselves along the way.

I hope this helps a bit and send my good wishes.

Letter #: 451631
Category: Dating/Relationship

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