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-   -   An awkward situation (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68937)

ployshyguy 02-15-2014 08:35 PM

An awkward situation
 
So I'm starting to develop feelings for someone who's been in my life for a while. My status as a poly person is widely known in my group of friends, though I haven't been that successful at it.

I have a couple issues that complicate the situation. First, and most complicated, she's a widow. It's been a couple years, and I thought she was getting better, but the last time I talked to her I found out she's still heavily involved in widow support groups, which makes me worry that my stepping in in any capacity other than friend would risk hurting her in some way.

Second, I, generally, suck at telling if someone's interested in me. Coming from a bad self esteem (bullied growing up), It's always hard to tell which direction to go. I know my instinct is to hold back, be patient, and not risk upsetting things, because that's what I ALWAYS do. Unfortunately I also know from experience that this cautious behavior allows many things I wanted to pass me by.

So. Is my instinct correct, and patience, continued friendship, and trying to get past her walls is the best way to go, or am I risking losing something by holding off.

LovingRadiance 02-15-2014 09:26 PM

She knows you are poly?
But you haven't expressed interest?

I say, let her know you are interested in taking her out on a date, if she's up to it and see what she says.
Don't press for relationship changes.
Just open the door.

I have a friend who lost her husband. It's been almost 2 years. She's very heavily involved in widow groups. But she's also in a new relationship.

The reality is-that she lost a key piece of her life and it is traumatic. that won't go away, it's just that you learn to live with it. But part of that is learning that it's ok to miss them and talk about them etc-for the rest of your life.

Open the door. Don't push.

ployshyguy 02-15-2014 09:38 PM

Good advice, thanks.

SchrodingersCat 02-15-2014 09:56 PM

I see nothing wrong with respectfully letting her know but making it clear that you're just sharing your feelings and you don't expect her to reciprocate. Let her know that you aren't going to bring it up again, and because you value your friendship, you don't want anything to change unless she wants it, but that if she's ever feeling up to it, you would be interested in pursuing a relationship.

Sure, it's possible it might remind her of her loss, but it's not like she isn't thinking about it every day anyway. I can't imagine how just telling her you're interested could cause her any harm, as long as you don't pressure her or keep bringing it up.

Indeed, being reminded that she's still a lovable person might be just what she needs to take the next step in the healing process. Who knows? Everyone is different.

ployshyguy 02-16-2014 09:33 PM

Also great advice, thanks.

I spoke with her last night, but didn't have the courage to quite ask her out. Your words did help me to try to get a little more personal, though; she's a very private person, and doesn't let people know what's going on easily. I'm going to work up to it over a few more conversations.

I also reiterated my poly status, just so that would be in her mind and that my motives might be other than just friends, so she's not taken totally by surprise.

WhatHappened 02-18-2014 04:05 AM

Have you given thought to where you think it might go with her? A few dates for fun? Date her until someone else comes along? A romance?

What is the rest of her situation? Does she have children living at home? If so, how many and how old? Does she have a good job, or is she self sufficient? Do you have any idea if she's given any thought to dating at all?

Hmm 02-18-2014 04:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat (Post 259859)
letting her know but making it clear that you're just sharing your feelings and you don't expect her to reciprocate.

Definitely a crucial piece of advice. It's a tragic flaw that is often a habit you don't even realize you have or how you wield it, at least in my experience. Once you can be calm and well being yourself, not needing another to validate you or make you feel whole or good, you can make your offer nonchalantly, unpressuringly, and accept rejection gracefully, if need be. If you never ask, the answer's always no.


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