Okay, to make a long story short: about 4 years ago I began dating a really sweet guy. Let’s call him “Jonas”. He was everything I wanted and needed at the time: focused on God, intelligent, calm, kind. The only problem was that he told me he loved me on the third date. I really liked him and did not want to dissuade him, so I told him I loved him too. We were in a relationship for about nine months. I had to end it because I had been sexually abused about a year and a half prior to meeting this guy, and I was holding a lot of feelings of self-hatred and guilt because of the sexual abuse. I was beginning to let the impact of the sexual abuse take over the relationship… I was crying on every second or third time we were hanging out and kissing, I started to tell myself that he did not deserve someone as worthless as me. I started to tell myself that I needed to break up with him and date people closer to “my level” (people who would treat me badly because I felt I deserved it).
I eventually broke up with Jonas. I did not leave Jonas for another guy or anything (I was not even looking at other guys at the time)… but I did feel that I deserved worse people because I hated myself so much for the sexual abuse. Jonas had even known about the abuse and tried to make those monsters in my head go away, but I did not want to let him be with someone as imperfect as me. He was so upset the day I broke up with him.
We started talking again several months later. I was hoping he would date other people, but he never did. I started dating again, but nothing ever worked out. I moved out of the city we were living in. Jonas and I started talking more on Skype. He helped to talk me through many problems in my new city (I was a graduate student in a world literature department getting bullied for my beliefs… he was a philosophy student facing a lot of the same problems). I saw him as a very precious friend. At the end of the school year, I tried to kill myself over another guy. I had to move back to my old city.
Jonas tried to revive the relationship during the summer that I was in my old city again. I could not bear the guilt about being with him after having had such strong feelings for someone else. I told him to let go of that hope, but I still wanted to be friends with him. He moved out of the city at the end of the summer, and I moved out of the country. We still kept in touch, and were talking online for three hours a week. I was sad and ashamed because of my suicide attempt, but Jonas put a smile on my face and I felt like I was not completely worthless. Around April of this year, we were talking about meeting up in Rome since he was going there for a conference, and I was living near Nuremberg at the time and could manage a flight. I was looking forward to seeing him, but I was not sure how I felt about him. Ever since our break-up, I have avoided thinking about being with him again. The suicide attempt over the other guy made me certain that I could not be with Jonas again (not out of feelings for the other guy… that hope was dead and buried a long time ago… I was just anxious about how Jonas felt about the situation). Jonas hinted that going to Rome would lead to romantic developments. Afraid of letting him down, I warned him to not have expectations of anything happening in Rome. He said “We’ll see.”, so I felt the need to tell him no once again. I told him that I hated myself and there was no way I was going to heal enough to love him or be worthy of his love. I told him I had stopped loving everything (the truth) and that I did not want him wasting his life waiting for me to fix myself. Then, to get him to stop hoping for good, I told him it was “NEVER going to happen”. That was the last night we spoke. He cut off all contact after that.
It has been six months, and I have since moved back to the country and am living in the town where I tried to kill myself. The bullies and the other guy are gone, and the loneliness and quiet have given me more time to think and to heal and to pray about these things without pressure to commit to something. I miss Jonas. I know I care about him deeply, and losing him as a friend is so painful to me. I don’t know if I love him, but I think I do. I think I lost the best thing I ever had. I want to get back in touch with Jonas, but I assume he is finally dating again and am afraid that I will be interfering with a beautiful thing he has and deserves to have. I don’t want to put him through an emotional roller coaster just because I screwed up. I am praying about it, but still don’t know what to do.
Should I get in touch with him or leave him in peace? I know at this point that if anyone is going to make a move, it has to be me. But will that cause more damage?