Again, former letter writers, I'm looking for updates. Send an update to meregoldstein at gmail.com from your original address with UPDATE in the subject line. Tell us whether the advice helped, how your situation worked out, etc.
A woman I hardly know did something extraordinarily brave that most likely saved my life six months ago.
While profound gratitude ruled my head and heart for the first month or so after the incident, it gradually gave way to love/romance. And I have confessed this to her.
She understands and says she is totally honored but not in a position to reciprocate, and at the same time, she is terrified of losing my friendship because of that. From what I understand, she has gone through quite a few relationships, and the last one was bitter, as she was conned by a man dating multiple people.
I honestly don't know how to handle myself because I cannot spend a day without thinking about her. Even though she says with time she might be able to reciprocate and have a relationship, she has advised me to not wait for her. But there is no way I can think of approaching someone else without comparing that person with her.
Once again, she values my friendship, and she would be deeply hurt if I ignore her. I care about her deeply, and given her past have told her how protective I feel toward her. Particularly because I am convinced that she puts her trust in people who take advantage of her natural kindness and empathy but just have no respect for her.
Any tips/advice would be much appreciated.
– skeptic-theist, Houston
She did an amazing thing six months ago, but that was an isolated incident. You have to limit your interaction with her and explain that if she really can't reciprocate right now, you need space to put the relationship in perspective.
You don't need to be with someone who saved your life. No one really wants to date Superman. The goal is to be with someone who makes your life better on a daily basis -- someone who's really there. This woman is kind and lovely and cares for you, but she's not a self-assured partner. She isn't there for you as a girlfriend, and the mixed signals are too hard to take.
You've been feeling so protective of her that you've forgotten to protect yourself. Please remember what's best for you.
Readers? Is this hopeless? After the life-saving thing, how can the LW put her in perspective? Help.