“Was this a clear rejection?”
Hi Click Community, Sorry, this is much longer than I thought it would be but I would appreciate your opinion on this as it is driving me mad.
I have been in love with this man for over a year. It's the first time in my life that I have ever fallen in love, and no kidding, love really can hurt. I must confess right up that he has a GF and I knew early on about it, although I had already fallen hard for him by then if that's any excuse, so the unrequited bit was to be expected. In my "defense", he does only refer to her as his "GF", even in writing... I only found out her name and a bit more about her because I blatantly asked him, although he has spoken about his family etc. with more warmth than he ever has her. If I had to sum her up in his own words it would "short" & "boring". Why would I even want to be with anyone who is so uncomplimentary about someone he is sharing his life with, right? But the heart and all that.
I did actually wonder if he was just making her up at one point, until I did some *um-hum* internet research. She was totally the opposite of what I expected. She is the girl next door, level-headed, friendly person you would expect a man would want to marry. I say this because my love interest openly admitted his GF wanting to get married, but her not being to sort of person he would marry, "he isn't that committed". Although I have found out they have been together for at least seven years now. I was so besotted with him and he seemed to me and other colleagues to be into me too, very supportive and attentive, etc. that I just could not help my feelings spiraling. I am on the road to recovery from this painfully unrequited love.
A couple of weeks ago, I would not have admitted so. Yet, it still really bothers me that I did not get some of the answers from him I so needed to move on. I am hoping you might share your thoughts on how he reacted and what you make of it.
Firstly, a bit of background. We work for the same company but in different locations. Because of his experience, he was sent several times here to help set things up. I have seen him in total only five times. I fell for him instantly, it took me months to admit it to myself. I wasn't looking for anyone, I have a lot going on, so I really don't and didn't need any romantic involvement . The second time we met he mentioned his GF briefly. I was still in denial about my feelings, although it was obvious when I mentioned him to friends that there was something, eyes smiling and all that.
But I am usually pragmatic and sensible. I put my sudden interest down to many things and also saw it was pointless to indulge in whatever I was feeling: he has a GF, I was unlikely to see him again or very rarely and only for work etc. I had his number because of work and could have texted him (he did not have my number). I really felt like initiating, even under the guise of a working relationship, networking excuse etc. but I didn't, for the reasons I've mentioned.
Three months went by before I would work with him again. In that time, I was promoted, in part thanks to his recommendation, although our boss obviously agreed. I hadn't been with the company long, so this was a fast-track promotion. But in all honestly, no one else wanted the job either. I did not expect it though and relished the thought HE had seen a potential in me. I am self-motivated and don't need praise, but my point is it was HIM.
So three months later, he was sent back here twice to sign me off on my new role. This is when it hit me, how much I had been thinking about him all this time, and hopelessly wishing I would see him again. I was in so much shock at this realisation, I was actually avoiding being around him as much as possible. He seemed on a high. A colleague who had just met him for the first time will still say he "was so into me". In fact, some of the things he was talking about could be seen as inappropriate. I might as well give examples, however stupid they sound... for instance, I was going over something he had just done, he asked me to stop or he "would have to do a fireman's run with me".
Another is that a colleague asked if we've known each other long, to which he replied "she is the mother of my child". Another colleague asked what do we do outside of work, now I understood what she was hinting at and expected him to subtly put things right by mentioning his GF, but instead he said "ballroom dancing". Why was I even taken in by this? Then, saw him once more about two months after this.
By then, I was hooked, I had texted him because of work during the sign-off, genuinely for logistical reasons. He was encouraging, he made sure I had everything I needed. He would give me feedback from the main office and it clearly sounded like I had been the topic of conversation (in a good way) between colleagues I had only interacted with through email. Twice (out of the five times I saw him), we grabbed a coffee after work at his suggestion. One of those times, he actually knowingly took a later train, when he had to drop things off at the office, meaning he would get back late and risk losing out on a bonus for the drop-off (which he had mentioned before and always seemed determined not to miss out on).
Our texts were always somehow work-related, even if supportive. This is what I need your take on! 1) ==> Then, I just couldn't hold it in anymore (four months after acknowledging my feelings to myself, seven months after first meeting him). I preferred facing the pain of rejection, than not knowing if there was something. I had to tell him, so I did.
I sent a text saying I liked him, but not just as a friend. As simple as that. I expected him to take a day or two to process and craft a clear response. He is a man of words and I believed he would know to be brutally honest and direct. I waited ten agonising days. For some reason, the longer he took, the more I thought he must be confused and I was right about there being something between us. I initially thought it would have been easy to just tell me "hey, I've got a gf, sorry" or gf or not, just "thanks but not interested" (not so bluntly, but along those lines!).
Instead, his response was "I don't know if you wanted a response but thank you."
What do you make of this? I answered acknowledging that indeed I hadn't asked anything as such and just needed him to know. Of course, I could not leave it at that and a few days later, I said it seemed like he had been surprised. We got into a discussion about it, where he reminded me I did say I didn't need an answer, etc...he finally said "and you know I've got a gf", to which I said she is his problem, thinking he might at least then be mad enough to put me straight, but no...then, I just said, "so why is it so hard to just say you don't feel the same way"..."if it will help" was his answer...anyway, it felt like I was begging him for an answer and he finally said "I don't feel the same way. Sorry, I do like you though and hope we can remain friends."
It should have ended there. Somehow, the rejection did not sink in. I don't know why. Instead, we continued texting. He also texted me a couple of times when he was having a bad day at work. He had a work trip abroad, and wanted to know if the boss had asked me to go (which I hadn't been). And slowly, are texts were about shared interests. Never once did he mention his gf, or even a subtle "we". It's always, "I" am doing this etc. That's what prompted me to do a bit of internet research. I suppose I was feeling guilty at this growing friendship, knowing how I felt about him. I would pull away when I felt it was getting too much.
My heart was breaking, I had become the shadow of myself, not enjoying anything I used, only living and breathing for him. His rejection hadn't done anything. I decided I hadn't been clear enough about my feelings and he needed to know so I sent him a heartfelt email a year on from first meeting him.
2) ==> The email. Well, I poured my heart out about how bad I was feeling. Oh yes, I forgot to mention there is slight age gap of 10-12 years and he does go on about how young I am. Pointing this out now as in my email I did say that I didn't think he took me seriously etc. It was an email no human being could not react to, even in pity. In the email though, I did not ask him how he felt about me, I did not ask him to tell me. I just told him how his reaction to my last declaration had made me feel, the long wait, the pleading for rejection, him not standing up for his current relationship with his GF, and the fact that him not being direct had given me false hope. I ended saying that because there was at least a friendship, I felt he needed to know there was more for me and that I had to work through it for both our sake. In hindsight, I wish I had asked him to tell me straight, without a doubt, that he felt nothing, possibly not even in friendship, but I didn't and the inevitable happened. I did not get a reaction as such.
Five days later, he texts me to say he received an email from me, it was in his spam, not his fault, etc. but hadn't read it yet as it was sent in the early hours of the morning and he had definitely sent emails at that time he had regretted, so if I wanted him to delete it he would, if not he would read it later. In the end, I told him to read it as I did not regret sending it or anything said in it. I don't know if if he ever read it. I don't think it's humanly possible not to be curious at least. He never told me what he did.
Instead, we continued texting. He sent me a picture of himself and sharing things about himself. We have a love of books and I found out he writes. He should me some of his work, early stuff, unfinished for some, raw, etc. I am probably completely insane by now, but it felt intimate to share something like that or at least, it made me feel special. It also gave me an insight into who he is. In art & writing, there is a lot that can be interpreted from silence/empty spaces/the unsaid, and I can't help but think that his lack of decisive response to my declarations means something. He hasn't encouraged my attention, but he hasn't clearly discouraged them.
I do believe he genuinely likes me as a friend and thinks highly of me, but I can't help but feel more for him and it sometimes feels there's more in it for him too. I just wished he had made it clear that it's only in friendship or even just straight up not interested romantically. A person in love reads into everything, the slightest glimmer of hope.
In the end, it's our own expectations that hurt us. I've never felt like this for anyone before and I am not usually needy. The normal me would just say get over it, we all deserve someone who puts in the same amount of effort, etc. But I am interested in what you think of his reaction to my declarations, and you can be brutally honest about me being delusional or whatever. Thanks for reading. And good luck to all those suffering from a broken heart. You do find yourself again, I promise! ;)