Complex situations: A Humble Request for INFJ aid | INFJ Forum

Complex situations: A Humble Request for INFJ aid

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Thoth, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    And any-non-INFJ's of course. No need to discriminate.

    Brace for text-wall.

    I've gotten myself into quite an interesting situation regarding matters of the heart. It turns out I'm great and giving advice to others, while sucking at following my own words.

    I had the same, exclusive, girlfriend for nearly 4 years. Things were good and only had minor issues crop up from time to time. Usually her being emotional and me trying to logic it away. About 6 months ago, I started to grow discontent without a real reason for it. I was getting angry and stressed and feeling all manner of negative emotions with little or no provocation. In hindsight, I was feeling trapped by old systems of thought and socialization that were no longer adequate. I had changed internally, but the outside world and my interactions with it hadn't caught up yet. One of the things I realized was that I wasn't as happy as I thought I was with the girlfriend. There were a collection of small traits on both sides that served to irritate, but none big enough that I would have noticed them before. The combined effect of them, as well as my general desire for freedom from old settings, served to leave me quite dissatisfied. I explained the situation to her, and she rather begrudgingly accepted that some time apart was in order. She was still quite wanting to continue our "perfect" relationship (INFP's, what can you do with them? ;P ) and kept close tabs on me. It really didn't look like much had changed except our title.

    Cue "the other girl", a mutual friend of ours. Apparently had a number of qualities that drew me rather strongly to her, once I was looking for such a thing. She had a certain independent spirit and a warm, almost maternal, feel to her (ISFJ). I quickly found myself with reciprocated emotional attachments (as I still wasn't over girl #1, just wanted some time to get my bearings and see if she had what I actually wanted, not what I thought I wanted) with two girls.

    Cue girl #2 abruptly having to move a couple of states away. One of my long standing rules is "I don't do distance." I feel that you can have emotional connections at a distance, but that cannot be a "relationship." You need to be able to touch a person to have the full impact of a romantic relationship. So now there is #1, who I have distanced from for my own sake but is still actively pursuing me and has the advantage of "comfort" (after that much time together, you know how to get responses from the other), and #2 who has admirable qualities, but I'm not driven "crazy" over. She is definitely more mature about things and has more lasting potential (as things are, in my opinion) than #1, but is also far away.

    Cue my situation changing, and my decision to join the US Air Force. I'm going to be far away from everyone soon enough. That whole thing is complicated enough. But then, just as I was starting to feel lost in a complex maze of emotional strings...

    Cue the local, unexpected, and totally infatuating girl #3. Have known her for some time, but never really got close. Part of a different social group that doesn't really mesh well with my own usual circle of friends. Started talking to her a little online, and then met up for coffee as a result of a joke (She was asking for astrology advice and I jokingly added "and the ever so rare 'Doug' sign") Quickly grew close. Really quickly. As in, over a this last week. The other night, we were at a bar with some friends, got a little (a lot) drunk and ended up spending a good portion of the wee morning hours making out. Upon talking about it, she said she was ok with it, but asked me to promise her "Don't like me." She apparently has a history of hurting people that get too attached to her. She claimed that she wanted a friend who isn't afraid to make out from time to time, and was sick of that leading to the guy getting clingy (She's an ESFJ Leo). I agreed that "I won't let it show, if it does happen" on the condition that if she somehow does end up getting attached, she has to say something. Agreement was reached.

    She isn't gonna hold out. I can tell from the way she responds to and the way that she looks at me. She's likely already realizing it but is stubbornly holding onto the idea that she can act without emotional attachment (unless I'm totally reading her wrong, which is possible). It's here that I stop and have to think about things, and come to you seeking advice. This third one seems to have a more powerful effect on me than either of the others, though I can't rule out an intense short term infatuation that doesn't have a lot of substance. There hasn't been enough time for a proper evaluation of my emotional situation. At the same time, my situation with the other 2 is just as complicated and entrapping. My disgust with the whole thing is also reaching new highs, and with my likely only having a few more months before I've lost the necessary weight and am shipping off for basic, I feel that the old systems are really going to have to go away.

    And so here I am, the thread is open for questions and discussion and commentary and advice. I'll be around.
     
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  2. Ophelia

    Ophelia Community Member

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    That is sad.
     
  3. OP
    Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    What is?
     
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  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Juicy.
    I think you're 'infatuated' with girl 3 due to the fact that she's a local and playing hard to get.
    The first girl fizzled out.
    The second is far away, too much effort.

    This girl is a mix of comfy yet danger. If you don't really see long-term future with any of them and you're shipping out anyway why bother with any of them unless you're just expecting to have fun 'til your gone. (whatever it is you kids do these days!)

    What are you disgusted about?
     
  5. OP
    Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    I'm disgusted with the feeling like I'm leading them on by not outright denying them. I've explained the situation and firmly held by the statement that I am effectively single. They know about each other. But when one comes to me and tries to get all cuddly, I don't stop them. I dunno. Something about it all seems wrong, yet I can't bring myself to just "be done" with any one of them. :\

    As for the effects of me shipping out, that's a pretty effective situation resolver... and the "having fun till I'm gone" seems a perfect match for what #3 wants. Or claims she wants.

    As for the infatuation, I can't effectively argue it. It might be. If I am, it makes sense that, "objectively," things look genuine. Of course everything would seem to be a perfect match to someone infatuated. I'll just have to wait and see if the behaviors and interactions that are appearing to be signs of compatibility are not simply the effects of a hormonal brain.

    Also, I'm not 100% on #3's type. She took 1 test that came up ESFJ. I personally think she's an ESFP, but I've been wrong before.
     
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  6. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    hmmm...

    So you've explained the situation and they understand and you still feel guilty almost as if you are being deceitful? I gather the deceit because you feel this way, have set these conditions, and mentioned that you don't stop them from cuddling.

    Maybe you're not being honest with yourself? Sounds like you're in violation of your own values and your feely side is actin up. What do you think might soothe your conscience?
     
  7. the

    the Si master race.
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    As usual, MerryTrees is being insightful.


    What are these old systems of thought and socialization and what are the new systems. This info could provide some good clues as to what is wrong with you.
     
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  8. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    My gut reaction is that you're bothered by something else, maybe something deeper, and you've pinned it on small irks with Girl #1. If you truly love someone, small things don't matter. As one person put it, "I don't get annoyed when she leaves the dishes on the counter - it reminds me that she's still here." To my way of thinking, deep relationships don't wither because of small things. There's something else happening. I think uberrogo's on to something in asking about your dissatisfaction is systems of thought and socialization.
     
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  9. OP
    Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    Wholly possible. It could be that I know that, unless there is drastic change in them (or me) I likely won't get "together" with either 1 or 2. I don't feel that the difficulties with 1 can be changed without her really trying, and I don't feel that I have known #2 enough to see if I'd actually be satisfied there either. Plus the distance thing. I feel like simply cutting them off wouldn't be giving enough of a chance and I might miss out on something good, as well as forcing me to directly hurt them. On the other hand, not doing anything makes me feel like crap.

    As for soothing my conscience... I think being without 1 and 2, but for me to not crumble in the course of doing that. I'm notoriously prone to doing stupid things when I get lonely. Perhaps I'm avoiding that while trying to come to terms with a renewed sense of individuality?

    Outwardly, my behavior hasn't changed much since High School. The same friends have mostly stuck together, and any new friends are kinda merged in with the old. The same mannerisms, jokes, taboos, and expected roles for each person to play have changed very little.

    Inwardly, I've grown in leaps and bounds and have internally changed quite a lot. I can't really explain it... just more mature and free. I'm very much a different person than when the social mold was formed.

    The conflicts that started arising from who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do versus what was expected of me by my peers and what other people wanted (I seem somewhat geared towards going along with other people's wishes out of some misused sense of belonging and fear of rejection). I was growing, but was restricted by what I was "supposed" to be and act like.

    In the end I got stressed to the breaking point, my shadow started acting out in funny ways and making a mess of my life, and as a result I've managed to burn my way out of the old system (or at least my perception of it) and have started making progress in external change. Side effect of this is the above relationship mess. #1 was the girlfriend during the old system. #2 would likely have been the girlfriend after the shift completed but moved away. #3 seems to represent the opportunity to "anchor in the present" and break away from the old me. That she comes from an outside social circle might also add to this.
     
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  10. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Ah, I think I understand better now. On the surface it's all small stuff, but it's highly representative of (and connected to) a system of life that you now see as repressive and confining. You want out, hence the dissatisfaction. Is that closer to it?
     
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  11. OP
    Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    Quite. There were legitimate problems (for instance, I like intellectual topics and like conversation. Far too frequently, I'll be talking about something or another and she'll suddenly interrupt or laugh unexpectedly because of something she read online/saw on TV/found in a magazine. She'd be off doing other things rather than actually listen.), but the symbolic importance may very well have been the catalyst for me even noticing them.
     
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  12. JME

    JME Newbie

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    Pretty much, the exact same thing happened to me around 23.

    I moved, got my life together, kept some sparse contact with old friends, and went on to do the things I wanted to do.

    Girl #3... I'd probably hit it before I left, and leave her with a good impression. Whether she really meant what she said or not, I think it's ok for you to believe her. If you've already joined the air force, it sounds like that might be the extent of it. But if you leave nicely, maybe you can come back and visit.

    Mostly, I think you should live in the now. It sounds like you don't want to live in the past and you don't have enough info to live in the future.
     
  13. alcyone

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    This doesn't sound all that difficult to me.

    Sounds more like you are looking for a way to excuse your dishonest, cheating behavior to yourself.

    You didn't want to continue your long term relationship. Fine, thats in your rights. You don't have any kids, weren't engaged (or were you?), so there aren't any ties. But, she's not over you and has left the door open. This makes a retreat for you. If nothing has changed except your 'title' (as you've phrased it). You aren't doing anything other than stringing her along with unspoken half promises or to put it more bluntly LIES.

    She's good enough to be a back up plan, but not good enough for you to commit to. Pretty sad actually.

    My opinion on number 2~
    So, you're newly 'single'....hormones raging. It's springtime (rut season) and you're looking to sow some oats. Your rebound is apparently different in a lot of ways from your 'ex' which makes her that much more attractive. Different is exciting is better~ That's the mentality. Since she's now out of reach it's okay for you to put her up on a soapbox cause she's not there for you to learn about her little quirks, flaws etc. Hence you're perception that shes 'more mature' and 'has more lasting potential'. However, your supplying the knowledge that she is also a mutual friend somewhat belies this claim as a TRUE mutual friend wouldn't be moving in on a girlfriends guy before the sheets have been changed and replaced.

    Girl number 3~
    Wants a sex toy and right now you're the new toy.
    Unless you want to turn in your INFJ card you're going to get used and abused. And you're gonna fall for her cause it's your nature. Since she's even more different than the other two, that allure is whats drawing you in. I have a couple ESFJ girlfriends myself, it seems to me that when they are committed, they are one trick ponies. Their attention is on one and one only. INFJ's generally aren't casual lovers, I don't know about you personally, but that seems to be the trend I've noticed in the forum. You're going to end up being another in a long line of 'clingy' guys. Quite possibly you are only 'safe' for her to involve herself with because of your upcoming committment to the armed services and she knows that even if you do get attached, circumstances will intervene to 'get you away'.



    Well, thats MY opinion on the matter. Hope I havent' pissed you off that much. Good luck!
     
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  14. OP
    Thoth

    Thoth Regular Poster

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    Immediate gut reaction was blind rage. A quick re-read made me glad for your blunt response. It helps sometimes. I do feel the need to clarify some things though.

    Girl 1: "Nothing changed" at first, which served to push me away faster. We did actually stop talking for a while, and I managed to sort some of my stuff out as a result of it. We talk now, and she's still not over me, but I'm more and more of the mind that I'm done with her... just haven't figured out how to do it while causing the least pain.

    The second girl may very well be shielded by distance to a degree, but I still can see flaws from here. I'm constantly pushing for her to find a guy out where she lives, and she completely refuses to even look. I constantly try to remind her that she should not be attaching herself to me and that its not going both ways if she does. But still she does, and I end up feeling guilty for it.

    Girl 3... you may be right about. It's certainly possible that she's playing me. My paranoia-gauge is currently set to "Vigilant." But based on the emotional cues that I've seen so far... some of her words and actions... she's either not as detached as she claims to be, or she's the best actress ever. She's definitely feeling more than "fling" in regards to me, or I fail totally at reading people.
     
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  15. alcyone

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    I do have the knack for invoking blind rage. When I feel a situation calls for it.

    Girl 1~ You can't end a 4 year relationship without causeing a boat load of pain. Your choice is to either rip the band-aid off quickly, or continue to tear it off slowing....millimeter by agonizing millimeter. What the second way is going to do to her will be hurting her indirectly and in the long term when she mistreats all the guys who come after you for the pain you caused her. She deserves the complete unvarnished truth. Figure out what you are going to say, and tell it to her face. Use 'I' phraseology. Don't make her feel like she's the one who needs to change. You are the one whose needs aren't being met. If they could have been met by her, you'd have known it three years ago.

    Girl 2~ Not much you can do there except possibly break off contact. I've been in her place and it was probably better off for me being dumped flat on my face with no explanation. I ended up alright and moved on, forward and onto better things actually. But thats your call. Life is nothing but a series of what if's.

    Girl 3~ Could be that it's her inability to project the correct body language (i.e. that of someone only interested in a casual relationship) that is the reason why she has a long line of 'clingy' guys behind her. You're probably reading her exactly right, but she's the one who is projecting the wrong language.

    The other guys in her life probably though 'Sweet No strings!' Then when they started reading 'Oooo She wants to be with me! I guess I'm the ONE' then they got interested. Could also be that she pickes up the introvert guys (some women are attracted to them like flies to shit)...the ones who may start off not that interested until they pick up the false signal, get attached, and then have a hard time getting unattached. Hard to tell without knowing her or knowing any of the guys in her history.
     
    #15 alcyone, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  16. blueflame

    blueflame Regular Poster

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    The long and short of it, in order for any relationship to be fulfilling and successful there needs to be a physical emotional and intellectual connection. Girl #1 lacked the intellectual, girl #2 provided emotional and girl #3 provided the physical so oscillating between the 3 has kept you in a difficult position where you got all three from three different sources.

    Simply put, you consider romantic relationships seriously and are not the type to simply go with the flow or mislead/use anyone, you want to make the right desicion but you don't know what it is and your hoping one is us can make that decision for you but ultimately ofcourse you are the only one who can make that decision. You are also not a risk taker considering you've spent some great deal of time trying to figure this all out, and maybe this time around the best course of action is simply to:

    1. never enter a relationship without closing the previous one regardless of your own reasoning. It complicates everything and there is almost never a real solution to the previous relationship by way of "trying out other flavors"

    2. Think long and hard in your time away from girl #1, are you ok that you are not with her and that she is/will be seeing someone else? If this thought/feeling makes you uncomfortable then perhaps there is true love still there. It also seems that you and girl #1 are opposites that have attracted, maybe being simply aware of this changes your situation with her. Girl #2 is a rebound relationship, that person was there when you got out of your first relationship and made you feel better but that is natural to take a liking to someone that is emotionally available when we need them. Girl #3 is all chemistry and lust by the definition exactly, physical and makes you feel great on the inside but no substance underneath to keep you happy in the long run.

    Hope this provides some deeper clearer insight to yourself and the nature of the three relationships.
     
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    #16 blueflame, Feb 23, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  17. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Pay close attention to Von Hase's experience. If you try the easy route, not only will it hurt her far worse in the end, it'll also take way longer for both of you to heal. If you give someone a small piece of hope, they'll cling to it, and hate you all the more when you finally take that last bit away. If you're serious about stopping this relationship, be serious about communicating that to her - respectfully and considerately, of course.
     
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  18. the

    the Si master race.
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    You have the answer to your problem. You even said so:

    What would you tell me? In a way this situation makes me laugh, some people would kill to have so many options.
     
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  19. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    I completely agree. Don't ever leave someone hanging, even as a backup plan. If you have to let someone go with grim finality, it is the kindest thing you can do for them.
     
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    #19 Zero Angel, Feb 24, 2009
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  20. OP
    Thoth

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    I appreciate INFJ's ability to provide advice. I'd almost think it's in their nature.:mpoke:

    I'll start with the update. As a moderately random and strong impulse, yesterday morning I broke the news in a horrifically blunt manner to 1 and 2. #2's birthday is coming up and she invited many people, but not #1. She told me that she didn't want to have to watch her behavior around me just because #1 was there. While this isn't that huge of a dramatic thing, it triggered a moment of "why am I allowing this shit to happen because of me?" So I re-affirmed that I am single to both of them, in a much more direct kind of way, and told them that I'm not getting involved in any kind of romantic way with them. #1 went "Uh... ok? I know you're single." and #2 is being very emotional and I would have spent yesterday picking up pieces if I wasn't working all day.

    This is obviously a simplification of the story, and I did just wake up, so I can't rule out typing errors that make me sound worse than I am... though I do feel immensely like shit.

    Girl #3... I still don't feel I have her figured out. As I said "My paranoia-gauge is currently set to 'Vigilant.' " I'm still probing her head to figure out what's what. Even if she does turn out to be nothing of substance, I can't deny that she makes me feel good (physical acts aside) and I kinda enjoy the support and warmth of her personality at the moment. If its nothing, it dies when I leave, if not sooner.

    Blueflame: Good post. That is some remarkably insightful material. Thank you.

    Uberrogo: "In a way this situation makes me laugh, some people would kill to have so many options." This occured to me, and it is funny. There's a line from a song that I felt applies here: "Why am I sad? Why am I sad? When I have more than I've ever had" I guess I'm just strange to not be enjoying this... but I think I'm ok with being strange.

    Oh, and an extra tidbit of information that may appear interesting, strange, or irrellevant depending on who's reading. Many months ago, I grew closer to a girl (non-romantically) and while having a particularly deep conversation I had a daydream-like vision of the Tarot card "The Devil." My interactions with her (as best as I can trace the sequence of internal events) started the chain reaction that led up to my awareness of the rift between inner and outer and thus my predicament between the 2 girls. If I'm interpreting the Devil correctly, me being trapped by my own actions and inaction would be hilariously appropriate.

    The 2nd night or so that I spent talking to #3 (well before anything "happened") I had another of these Tarot related visons, this time of the Death card. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out the meaning of this occurance. If my subconcious is trying to tell me somthing, I want to know what it is. I think I know what it means, but I thought I knew what the Devil was hinting at before discovering I was totally wrong.
     
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