I'm a medical student, studying in London (I won't say where, just in case - not entirely sure how the GMC would regard my membership of this board...) but I'm originally from Wales. I'm a sort-of eccentric, generally amiable sort of fellow. Not Brad Pitt, but not terribly ugly. Bit of a nerd - love history, classical music, politics, science... I'm something of a walking book of useless information.
And I have a terrible time attracting women.
My first girlfriend cheated, and the second one (though the relationship such as it was lasted very briefly, and didn't get beyond kissing) left me with issues regarding size (she asked, I was honest, she broke it off soon afterwards), so upon coming to uni just over 4 years ago, I figured I'd have a fresh slate. Boy was I wrong.
I have had some drunken experiences, including one in second year with a girl who was actually okay with my curiosity to trying anal play (and turns out she rather enjoyed it, so that was good at least), but until very recently, there'd only been two - the embarassment and self-loathing wasn't worth it.
I'm now in my 5th year of 6 at uni, and I may simply be having what the Germans would describe as "Torschlusspanik" - literally "Gate-closing panic", it's the feeling of opportunity slipping away as time goes on. I definitely feel this. Whilst uni has been absolutely great, and I've made lots of wonderful friends, I've had a horrid time with girls.
Years 1-3 were spent being rejected/friendzoned by the girls I liked. In second year also developed an indolent, interest in a girl in the year above (who will be the subject of a long paragraph later) who, in second year, I was JUST summoning up the courage to ask out, and then she got together with a guy in my year (who went to Eton), with whom I have something of a complicated friendship - he can be a complete bastard sometimes, and many of my friends wonder why she's with him, and why I'm friends with him, and I often find myself asking the same question. As the boyfriend is in my year, and in my choir, I see him pretty much every week - the girlfriend I see when there's a Music Soc event on, as she's part of the Jazz band and orchestra. She's Welsh too, so during the Six Nations, we don our rugby shirts and generally have a good time. We've got a lot in common with our long term goals too - the idea of going back to Wales at some point, and having our kids learn Welsh as well. We share a lot of nerdy interests - Star Wars, Lord of the Rings (we once had a six hour chat about all things Tolkien - I didn't leave her house until the wee hours of the morning!), Harry Potter, and Doctor Who, and being medics, tend to have a lot to talk about anyway.
What I've also found strange is that she's a Christian, and it doesn't bother me. Being a die-hard atheist, I usually regard faith as a weakness, and it infuriates me, and I tend to like girls who are at the very least irreligious. However, she's very level-headed about her faith, and isn't pushy about it at all, so it doesn't bother me.
In November 2011 (the start of my 4th year), I actually managed to ask a girl out on a date, but it never got anywhere. Then, in April this year, I admitted to a girl a few years below that I was interested in her. A few weeks later, we ended up making out a lot in her room after a friend's barbecue. Then she went on study leave - before she left, she called me over to see me before she went. We kissed a bit, and cuddled, and it was nice.
When she was away, initially she skyped me, and flirted a bit, and it generally seemed that something was developing. Then I was basically dropped like a hot potato, and was told that she wasn't interested at all, and had never been. I felt, and still feel, toyed with. Later, when I saw her at the music soc dinner, she proceded to regale everyone with tales of how her neighbours have repeatedly made noise complaints against her because she had been having lots of loud sex over the previous year.
So, the fiasco with the aforementioned toyer-wither is still looming large over me – it’s not as bad as it once was. I still think she’s cute, and my primitive male hind-brain (a term you’ll hear a lot about in this essay) still wants her. In the aftermath, I came to realise that there was someone else who I had a much deeper affection for, and had done all along - remember the girl with the boyfriend? This is she.
It’s variously been there over the years since I met her not long after starting uni. However, as I described above, I have appalling timing, and just as I was summing up the courage to ask her to go for a drink, she manages to acquire a significant other. And so, even though we’re very friendly, I’ve had to keep my mouth shut, and try to just push past it, but it won’t go away. There have been one or two ambiguous statements that I’ve never been sure how to read, but I’m loathe to pin my hopes on them. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe her, and I don’t want to make you sick from hearing it, but suffice to say that I adore this young woman, but can’t do anything for the immediate future, despite the fact that my stomach ties itself in knots every time I see them together. I struggle not to be jealous, since I don’t think the boyfriend deserves her. Until very recently I thought there was no long-term viability to the relationship, but when last I went for catch-up drinks with the girl, this stance had changed somewhat. So now, even "playing it safe" and waiting for them to break up is not viable, and isn’t fair on anyone. At the same time, because I've liked her for so long, I'm not sure I could handle another rejection, especially so soon on the heels of the last one.
An incident a few Sundays ago was an example of why this is a problem. Too much alcohol, peer pressure, and clouded judgement (damn male hind-brain) meant that I went home with a colleague of one of my housemates who apparently has a thing for me, to whom I’m not at all attracted. I didn’t sleep with her (so I’m still a virgin), but we did quite a bit - oral, anal play, she got some toys out... Although, most of it was fairly mainstream, and as far as I can tell, I did a reasonably good job of ensuring the young lady enjoyed herself despite my utter inexperience in most things (vis-à-vis going down on her, having never done that before that evening), my heart, and other parts of me, clearly weren’t in it. The girl did her very best to encourage an enthusiastic reaction from myself, but it was not to be. My inexperience itself is a huge worry for me – very much a case of “What if I meet the right girl/end up with girl with a boyfriend (post-boyfriend), and I’m no good?” This new issue by itself is hugely disconcerting – it REALLY shouldn’t be an issue in a 22-year old man with a naked girl in front of him... This is just one more worry on top of my general issues with myself. I don’t like my body at all, and though going to the gym is slowly helping, it’s slow going. There are other, less-easily remedied issues. Having once been dumped over an issue of “size”, I’m hugely self-conscious in that regard as well, no matter what the statistics say about averages.
There’s also the fact that I have a list of things I want to experience with a girl - I'd like at some point in my life to try anal sex, have a girl dress up for me, use food, maybe some restraints and some toys, etc. etc. etc. While they aren’t necessarily the kinkiest tricks in the book, I don't go shouting them from the rooftops – having been lampooned for suggesting one of the more minor preferences things once as a teenager during a discussion on the topic (in this case, that I think that girls’ bums look best in thongs). Suffice to say, though I was allowed to indulge in a few of those less mainstream activities, and the girl seemed to enjoy herself, so no harm done, I thought. However, when we woke up the next morning, the girl was experiencing some shakiness. When I spoke to her, she suggested that someone may have slipped some MDMA into her drink. Seeing the look of abject horror on my face, she reassured me that she very much wanted to bring me home, just that perhaps she might have been more adventurous than she otherwise would have been. Suffice to say, I was floored by this information – I had no idea that she was anything other than drunk (i.e. like me). My flatmate (her colleague) thinks she just regrets the events of the evening, so is using that as an excuse… So now I have no idea where I stand, and I feel horrific about it. She wasn’t upset with me at all when I left, but I still have an awful feeling of guilt, plus now I’m worried that some of my turn-ons are things you actually have to be drugged up to indulge in, which is NOT encouraging.
What I find especially worrying is that the girl with the boyfriend popped in to my head during the evening, and I was forced to explain why I wasn’t enjoying myself as I should have been. The girl was not best pleased, but advised that it was probably why I wasn’t… well, rising to the occasion. This is a very worrying development, and although I’m certain it’s just a psychological thing, it’s not one that’s easily remedied.
There’s also another problem that further muddies the waters. My first ex and I are very close, and I’ve always been undecided about how I feel about her. This next bit I’m not proud of, but bear with me. Basically, though we were always close even after the breakup, we did drift a little after starting uni, but that changed for the better over the summer – I consoled her through something of a period of unrequited affection with a guy she knows from Uni, which led to lots of cuddles, drinking, and long conversations, as well as being a shoulder for her to cry on. Happily for her, it’s worked out with the guy, and they are together now. I’d been worried that there were some lingering feelings for her when she suggested half-jokingly that if we were both single at the age of 35, we should just save ourselves the trouble of finding a spouse and marry eachother – I actually thought that didn’t sound like the worst fate in the world. That, and the fact that she looks a little like the girl with the boyfriend – tall-ish, long hair, pretty face, fantastic figure, warm smile, and a fantastic mind – should have set off alarm bells, but as I was preoccupied with getting over the girl who led me on, I just put it down to rebound affection. I should have known better. The next bit I’m REALLY not proud of, but please try not to judge me. The final nail in the coffin came when she announced that she was staying on to do a Masters’ Degree, and she was funding it by stripping a few nights a week. My initial reaction was one of disbelief, shock, and worry. She’s a relatively liberal feminist, and I was forced to wonder what sort of thing would force her to take such a drastic step. She reassured me that she was fine, and that it was just temporary, that she was enjoying it, and even able to interview some of her colleagues in order to get some case studies for her Masters. This assuaged my initial concern, but my primitive male hind brain just got stuck on the idea of her sliding up and down a pole in very little clothing, and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and so I’m now completely stuck in a spiral of liking her, guilt about liking her, and despair about everything else – she’s one of my “go-to” people, and so she helps me out with advice and the like, and so it reinforces why I like her (I should emphasise that I very much like her personality as well as her looks and recent career change – I’m not THAT shallow). I’m tempted to tell her, but I don’t know that it’ll help anything… I’ve told her something happened on Sunday, and I’m going to tell her about what I mentioned above, but I’m not sure whether or not the catharsis of telling her will do me any good whatsoever in the long run.
The more immediate problem, is the girl at my university with the boyfriend. Being in Final year now, she'll be off working as a doctor in August, so I am now very much determined to tell her, because I am losing sleep thinking about her. Her boyfriend and I were at a house party recently, and when the conversation turned to sex, as it so often does when people are drunk, I had to leave the room because I didn't want to hear about it. However, he made a throwaway remark about her being unadventurous in bed, which adds another layer of complexity - should it matter? Does it matter? Maybe. Am I worried that even though I adore this girl, I won't be happy if I ever have her? A little. Am I terrified that even if that extremely unlikely possibility were to occur, that I'd suggest something out of her comfort zone that would fuck everything up? Absolutely.
She's a really caring person - she works as an estate agent part-time, so helped me find a house at the start of 4th year, and was very supportive in helping me deal with the girl who led me on - on Music Soc Tour, she insisted I sit with her throughout a couple of dinners so that I could avoid the girl - and she was a little flirty too. Like I said earlier, I am not pinning my hopes on this, but it's difficult when you absolutely adore someone not to read into things in the way you'd want to. Anyway, I've pretty much decided I have to tell her, it's just a question of when and how. I'm not expecting her to break up with him for me, but I am nearing my wits end on this issue. I've tried waiting for it to go away, and it hasn't.
So yes, I'd like some advice on how to deal with the situation, and the aftermath/fallout that will probably ensue. I'm almost completely certain I'm going to tell her in the next few weeks - after most of the Music Soc events are over, so there needn't be any awkward encounters while the dust settles, as it were. Things may get awkward with the boyfriend, but I'll cope - I'm not exactly lacking for friends, and while this may seem somewhat callous, he often crosses the line when it comes to mocking me, so though I feel guilty, I really feel that my need to get this off my chest, selfish though it may be, is more important. I'm honestly more worried about upsetting her. One of my friends suggested writing her a letter, but most seem to favour face-to-face, and I agree. However, the letter option does allow for thoughts to be collected before a reply is made...
If I do tell her, or write to her, I'll probably say something along the lines of:
"There's something I have to say, and I've been putting off telling you for a while - hoping it'd go away. But it hasn't - it's always been there at some level, and this may explain why I was (and still am) terrified of the potential fall-out.
But I realised recently, that at time may come where it is too late for me to say anything, and then I'd be haunted with "what ifs".
Here's the thing... I like you, and have done for longer than I'd like to admit. You're caring, and kind, and beautiful, and funny, (and Welsh)... and I do think we'd be good together, I really do.
I need you to forgive this selfishness on my part - I just had to tell you, and I also think it's good for you to hear it - because I don't think you realise quite how wonderful you really are.
I am telling you this without hope nor agenda - I'm not asking you to break up with [boyfriend's name] for me, nor am I expecting you to. Last thing I want is to see you hurt.
When you and [boyfriend] fell out earlier in the year, any happiness I might have felt at the idea of you being single again was utterly obliterated by how sad it made you. it broke my heart to see how it upset you.
So while I feel guilty about telling you this, it's important for you to hear how lovely people think you are.
I'm going to go now. This evening was wonderful - in truth, seeing you is the highlight of my week. I'm sure I'll see you soon at something or another, unless I hear from you before then.
Or words to that effect. Anyway, there it all is. I am now drained. Pretty much everything is above.
Advice/comments welcome, and my apologies for the fact that this reads like a bad Greek tradgedy.
Thanks in advance,
This post has been edited by celt: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:25 AM