Posted by CC on 12. Nov 2009
Hi, Chinese Chick and White Guy -
I'm a foreign female, 28, and am currently in a complicated relationship. My boyfriend and I, who is also a foreigner, have been together for about two years and he recently told me that he wants to "take some time off."
I have been sharing my problems with close friends, most of whom are supportive. But one guy, however, is trying to use this as a vehicle to hook up with me. He's always flirting and touching me, and it makes me really uncomfortable.
What should I do to let him know that his behavior is unacceptable, but still maintain the friendship?
Broken Hearted (and Annoyed) In Beijing
CHINESE CHICK SAYS:
First of all, I would like to say: how freaking annoying. With that said, let's tackle your problem bit by bit.
I'm assuming that your boyfriend is in Beijing as well? Why do you think he needs some time off? Anything happened recently? How not on the same page are you guys?
I think taking some time off is not necessarily a bad thing. It's better than him breaking up with you. Tell him you agree that maybe it's time for you to take some time off and think about things as well.
Key point: Don't make a huge deal out of it. Act as normal as he if he said "let's go get dinner." Harassing him is not going to do you any good. So now that you're on a break, use this time to hang with your friends, go out, travel whatever you want to do. Maybe call or text him once every couple days to remind him that you're still there for him and still want to be with him.
But be friendly and casual.
About this other guy, the next time you are alone with him or with a good friend of yours, talk to them about your boyfriend (as if you're confiding in a friend).
Don't say how sad you are, but instead talk about how sure you are about your feelings for him and you don't have feelings for anyone else. If this doesn't work, the next time he makes you uncomfortable just tell him, "Hey look, I don't know if I'm getting the wrong vibe, but you're a little too touchy-feely around me and it makes me a little bit uncomfortable. I really like you as a friend I don't want to feel weird when you're around."
If he doesn't get the message by now, I guess you will just have to tell him straight up, "Hey boy, I like someone else, hands off."
Maybe before you reach this last resort, you can ask your boyfriend for advice: kill two birds with one stone!
WHITE GUY SAYS:
What an asshole. While I sympathize with your relationship woes, I wonder why you'd like to maintain this so-called platonic relationship with "Mr. Touchy-Feely" to begin with.
Step back and re-examine your relationship with this character before bringing up the issue of his wandering hands.
Why would he think he could make a move on you? Do you have a saucy history with him? Ever had a drunk mishap where someone (or both of you) crossed the line between "friends" and "fuck buddies?"
If no, then it's all good. Firmly tell him to back off if he respects your friendship, and it should be smooth sailing from here on out.
If yes, it appears that you're in a bit of hot water. Patiently explain that it's not the time to rehash past exploits, and that you could really use his emotional support now, not his physical "support."
Hi, Chinese Chick and White Guy -
I'm a 30-year-old American who has been dating a Chinese girl on and off for a year. (Let's call her "Jing.") The challenge is that it's a long distance relationship. When we're together, we're very happy. But the distance creates problems. Sometimes we argue and threaten to break up with each other. Sometimes we actually do break up with each other. But after some time (days, weeks, even months) we always "get back together," even though we're still so far apart, geographically. I often think to myself, "Should I stay with Jing? Is this relationship going anywhere? Or are we wasting each other's time?"
I've tried to "move on" without success. During the times when Jing and I are not together, I've dated other people to see if I'd be happier with someone else, but the thought of breaking up with Jing forever causes a deep, sudden pain in my heart. The problem is, I can't tell anymore if this feeling is love or if it's just guilt. Is my heart telling me that after all we've been through I still love her and I shouldn't give up? Or do I just feel bad about being the first one to say, "It's over. I've found someone new"?
I know I'm not the only one in a situation like this. So I'm writing this hoping that one of you might have some sincere advice that I haven't considered. As I click send, however, I get the feeling that I'll just get some snarky banter designed to generate comments. Let's hope not.
Not Sure in Xinjiekou
CHINESE CHICK SAYS:
I really wish I had a workable solution for you. Unfortunately I have struggled in similar situation with no success. But given your specific situation here are a few tips I can offer, I sincerely hope they can help you to some extent.
By long-distance, I assume that you guys are still in the same country? I know China is big, but I don't think you guys can be that far. If she is the right one, there is no rush: take it slow. If she's not the right one, you have your own space and time to figure out what and who you want.
I honestly think that since you're not together with her when you date other girls, there is no guilt: It's just because you still don't want to let go. Your heart will make sure to tell you when you truly likes someone, when you don't care about this certain someone anymore, the heart makes it very clear also.
You really have to ask yourself, If I were to choose, the assurance of your undeniable mutual feelings is all you need. The rest you can figure out together and work towards a future where you guys can be together. It might mean some sacrifices along the way to happily-ever-after, but it should be all worth it. If it's not, then you don't really love each other and there is no point in torturing each other.
To give you some faith, I know couples that are in long distance relationships. While some are in same country and others spanning continents, they're all happy, seeing each other 2-3 times a year.
The key to their happiness is that they can't stand the thought of not having that person in their future and are glad that that person is in their life right now, so they work on THEIR FUTURE together.
I'm gonna be cheesy and say "Destiny is the bridge you build to the one you love." You decide if you're meant to be.
Don't move on just for the sake of moving on, for that's never a good excuse. Move on if you must, not because you don't like her anymore, but rather because you are starting to have feelings for someone else. Before you're sure about that, keep talking with each other in the present tense and don't rush your feelings.
Jordin Sparks taught us to take one step at a time, there is certain truth to that.
I hope you figure it, would love to have some reference for myself.
WHITE GUY SAYS:
First things first. Long distance relationships almost never work out. Trust is the only foundation for a strong, lasting relationship, and you can't build trust if you're always apart from each other. Too many long distance relationships end in loss of will power and cheating. The rest are slowly eroded by suspicion and accusations. You're here, she's there. You're both meeting new people, forming new friends, gaining different life experiences -- how can you build a mutual partnership with someone if you're moving in two different directions? If you can't commit to being with each other now, then when?
Second, I suspect you miss the sex. At the end of the night, while your friends get busy with their partners and playmates, you get busy with cheap porn and your right hand. It's not your girlfriend you miss, but intimacy, closeness and a connection in general. The longing leads to arguing, and the arguing leads to the temporary break ups. The temporary break ups allow you to find short-term girlfriends for a series of "several night stands." The emptiness caused by these meaningless encounters creates more disconnection, causing you to think of Jing again, and then you "get back together" with renewed intensity, only to repeat the same process again, the moment you feel lonely.
This isn't how relationships are supposed to work. You owe it to yourself, to her, and to all the girls you use in the interim, to figure out what you want, and then pursue it 100% -- either to really be together (both emotionally and geographically) or say goodbye. Otherwise, the cycle will continue, and the patterns of mistrust will be reinforced.
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