I need help deciding what to do... | INFJ Forum

I need help deciding what to do...


Apr 20, 2016
Ok, so I need help with a guy. I do not know his MBTI type, but he is very quiet although he does not mind talking in front of large groups, introspective, knows a lot of facts, remembers conversations we had a long time ago. In his free time he does artsy Photography and sports (krav maga, skate boarding, surfing, snowboarding), he has a dog, he likes animals. I think he is a bit of a stickler to the rules, but he did do graffiti in his youth.

So this guy, I really had not noticed him before, but he made a point in sitting down next to me in a seminar. He offered pretty much the first time we met to ask him if I ever need help. One time I asked someone else and he reacted a bit annoyed asking why I had not asked him. He does not talk to others as much and as openly as to me. He made an effort to start conversations. Weirdly he kept telling me details of his private life without me asking and out of context of conversations. Another thing he does is interrupt conversation I have with other guys. When I talk with girls he seems to just listen, but with guys he very quickly “takes over” the conversation, so that I talk with him instead. He remembers things about me that I just said in a side sentence. He remembers what we talked about a long time ago.
He and I always talked after the seminar for hours about everything. He made a point of waiting for me. I really enjoyed these conversations and grew to like him very much. So much that I had already trusted him with details of my life I had not told anyone except my closest friends. This took a long time, seeing how we only meet once a week. So at some point I tried extending conversations by writing him an email and never got a reply. Not even a reaction the next time I saw him.

Then his mom got sick. He did talk to me about it. But one seminar, he was really depressed, slightly shaking and not even talkative to me. When I asked him if he wanted to talk about it, he said: not now. So I already figured that his mom probably was dying or close to it. Then he got a message and he was suddenly white as a sheet. I kind of knew what happened. He was gone after the seminar in seconds. I wrote him an email that I thought I knew what had happened and if it was true that I was really truly sorry and I wish I could hug him and if he needed anything he should let me know. Obviously he did not and never reacted to the email. I kind of understand that. He was mourning.

The next seminar he just shortly showed up saying he could not stay. He looked devastated and after me asking him if things were ok, he just replied: no and they never will be ok again. Then he left. The next seminar we had free and the one after that I was sick and could not come. Since we had not seen each other for 3 weeks and had a 2 week holiday ahead of us, I wrote him another email that I miss talking to him and if he wanted to that I would like to meet him during the holidays for a coffee or just taking a walk. I gave him my phone number, since he never replied to emails. He never reacted.
Anyways, after a 3 week holiday (and a 6 weeks after his mom died — I know by now that I was right) he still comes to sit next to me, but never waits for me after seminar to talk anymore. He also commented on me talking a lot. Not really negatively, but in a situation, where someone else negatively mentioned it, he said to me: it is true you do talk a lot. That hurt. He also used to make sure we would do the partner work together. Last time he did not, I did it. He keeps checking his phone and when he gets an email or message; he tells me how much he hates getting all these messages and emails (Which makes me feel bad about my emails…)

So basically, yes I know that mourning is not easy and may influence his behavior. But I get these really mixed up signs from him now. On the one hand he still sits next to me; on the other hand he reacts to me as if he did not know and maybe even care that I like him.

So I am confused. Did he ever like me? Would he not have replied to my emails? Maybe the last one inviting him for coffee scared him away?

Also seeing that the death of a parent obviously changed his whole world, should I just leave him alone, so he can concentrate on mourning and have me as another issue to worry about? I really like him, even if there would never be any romantic involvement I would like to be his friend. I do not want to make things harder, but I do have feelings too, and I do not know how to deal with all this. I am really torn between distancing myself and I do not know what.

I would appreciate any insight or suggestions.
Hmm, well a heavy sort of situation, and it's always easy to offer advice when you're not in a situation and really no one but you fully knows the situation from 'the inside'.

I send my sympathies to you since it's emotionally painful when one is 'thrown about', left hanging, and still feels the same way about someone. On his end it must be very hard, especially when he has gone through something which can take more than a lifetime to get over. It sounds like his not himself, and justifiably so, he's probably being shook up to his core. It speculation, but a fair one, that he's probably not in a state of wanting to get into a relationship - it might be the last thing on his mind, and the last thing he wants to deal for the moment.

On another note, and this is just my opinion and you have to form your own and do what you think and feel is best. But even before his mother's passing the behaviour you described seemed characteristic of someone who has deep seated emotional and/or mental issues*. Based on your description he seems to have an acute sense of possessiveness, involving acute envy (jealousy is the feeling of being envious). No doubt if you entered into a relationship with him he'd be excessively jealous, and possibly even controlling and would resent you for simple communication with other men. As a result you'd probably find it suffocating to your sense of basic autonomy and overbearing.

I've made the mistake in the past of getting 'too deep' too soon in pre-formal relationships (that is, before 'going out' and when just beginning), and found that by doing so I developed an unhealthy emotional attachment and sort of dependency upon the other person, without which I probably wouldn't have pursued the relationship any further, and without which I would have been at least a bit more rational and realistic, realising a simple truth: "This person is lovely, and I really like them, but they are not going to be good for me." I learnt the hard way.

But he's not responding to you anyway, and there's nothing more you can do to pursue a relationship if the other person isn't on board. My advice, to be plain and direct, but only you can decide: is as hard as it will be, try and move on, stop yourself from thinking of him, and distract yourself in the meantime until infatuation wears away, even keep a little busier than usual. Even if he was the right fish for you, when the fish swims away despite you laying the bait, one has to move on.

You sound like a sweet, caring person, eager to connect with people on a deep level. Whether you believe in it or not, I'll pray for your situation. Follow your heart AND your mind!

Edit: *I should say [pure intuitive speculation], seems to have unresolved mental issues that could be problematic for a relationship.
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I agree with [MENTION=14675]Night Owl[/MENTION] on just about everything she said. You offered multiple times in multiple ways and he didn't respond for possibly a variety of reasons. Grief and loss are extremely complex things to deal with. One thing to consider is it isn't your responsibility to guess how he feels or what his actions mean. It's his responsibility to communicate his thoughts and feelings to you. It sounds like you need someone who is more able to communicate with you in the way you need. In my opinion, entering into a relationship with someone who is grieving can be dangerous waters. I would move on.
People deal with grief in strange ways. Personally, I've been known to push people out of my life and try to deal with grief on my own. I've realized that every time I've done that it has been an act of self hate. Meaning, I know I could have had a support system, but I didn't feel like I deserved one, so I pushed others away. I'm not assuming this is what he's doing. I'm just trying to illustrate that people don't always react in a healthy way to something as traumatic as loss.

I've learned I'm someone who needs space to process how I'm feeling and then a friend/partner I trust to emote what I'm going through.

If he is someone you value at all, not even romantically, but as a friend, I would say the best thing you could do in this situation is give him the space he needs, but do little things to let him know you care and you're there if he needs a friend.

To be honest I wouldn't encourage anyone to enter a relationship after something as traumatic as the loss of a parent. Anything he felt for you or still feels for you is probably buried under several layers of other terrible emotions.

I would let this one ride out and see where it goes. Don't try to force anything and just be there for him in whatever capacity he needs.

If he's too unhealthy (co-dependent, clingy, or the opposite, pushes you away, is controlling or a dick) I would say forget him. He doesn't really like you and you're not worth his time.
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Wow! Thank you all!
I guess I kind of needed to hear this, since I (3x knock on wood) have not had such a loss in my live yet (well my grandmother died when I was 12, but I only met like 2-3x a year and although I loved her dearly, it is not really comparable).

@ Night Owl: he told me that he was cheated on before and asked me what I think about cheating at some point in the beginning. So yeah, there probably are unresolved issues around that. But his reactions were not really that bad. It was not rude or anything, he just said something in line with the conversation, so the focus would be on him. I doubt he noticed what he was doing. I actually thought it was funny :)
And thank you for praying for the situation. I am an agnostic, so I believe that it definitely can not hurt!

I guess as bolognamacaroni said, I will let this one ride out and see where it goes. I did give him all green lights, and if he is not capable or interested, I will just deal with it.
After all the comments on the grief situation, I will not distance myself as much as I otherwise would. I do not want to hurt him more.

Thank you all for giving me your perspectives of the situation. It is really helpful to hear these things.
Otherwise I would just sit at home and overthink everything until it would have become a bloody mess...
It could be a very long time before he is in a proper state of mind for a healthy relationship. The exact time frame of things here is not very clear to me but it sounds like it's been maybe a couple of months that this has all transpired? If his mother passed away a month or two ago, he's probably not going to be mentally available for another year or perhaps longer. Best case scenario I'd say six months. Everyone grieves differently so it's hard to say but it is a very very long time. It could be many years before he's really in a good frame of mind to be supportive of a healthy relationship. Just something to think about. Even in terms of a good friendship, it will take a long time to heal and regain strength to support others. He has to focus on himself right now and you have to respect that. Don't invade his time, support it and support him if you are wanting to keep him in your life.
Forgive me if I am too direct but this is what I think. If he really means something to you and you will see him face to face again, tell him that you are there for him if he needs you. Do not overshare or do this over email. It's not warm enough. Forget about any kind of romantic relationship and leave him alone unless he reaches out to you. It's going to take him a long time to feel at all like socializing.
If you want to know in a reasonable amount of time, you gotta ask in person. That or you two can keep guessing what's on each others minds for another couple of years. You'll never really know if you settle for continuing to guess at cryptic cues. You've got to be willing to put how you're feeling about him out there.

If he avoids or stalls on giving a straight answer, then he may not really know how he feels about you, how to back off, or how to take the next step.

How old are you two? Have you been in relationships before?
I am not sure why this keeps happening, but I already had replied yesterday after bolognamacaroni. It said pending approval, but apparently I can not see the status of this approval pending, so seeing that it has been more than 15h I am assuming it got lost?

Anyways, I had already said, that - as bolognamacaroni said- I would let this one ride out and see where it goes.
Obviously I will not "invade his time". Also I will also not distance myself as much as I normally would, since I do not want to hurt him additionally.
I will just see where he decides to take it - or not.

Thank you all for your insights on grief. I have not had this experience (3 x knock on wood), so I really could not understand what is going on with him.
It is really helpful to get an outside perspective. I would have just overthought this whole thing and probably would have made it worse...

@ Night Owl Thank you for offering to pray for the situation. I am an agnostic, so I do not know if it will help, but I am sure I will not make it worse :)
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another try...

am I spamming the admins? I do not know, but I have posted 3 replies (tried 2x here and 1x on another thread) and all have vanished into thin air.
Does pending authorization really take several days? If so, I am sorry to whoever has to work through my replies.

I tried to reply already directly after bolognamacaroni: I have decided to do what he suggested and let this one ride out and see where it goes.
I am not going to take my distance in this case, as he does not need extra pain. But I will leave him be, if he wants to be left.

I have seen him again recently. He did again make sure to sit next to me. It was comfortable.

Anyways, thank you all for trying to help. I really appreciate getting another perspective, especially on the grief part.
I have no experience with this (3x knock on wood), so I actually would never have guessed that it can take such influence on someones life... Knowing this is really very helpful.