Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I slept with my best friend(38 Posts)
Warning - Longer than I planned, I understand if you don't read it/skim it. I probably would ;(
Hi Mumsnet - I have been lurking here unregistered for about a year now, mostly in Relationships & AIBU. I'm a mid-20s male and have found this forum to be a real eye-opener and I have learnt a lot. I have been an active forum poster since the mid-90s when I was a wee lad and most of the internet is male-heavy, so reading the views of so many women has been a source of much fascination. Anyway, to the topic at hand:
Went to the pub last night, met up with my best female friend and a few others. She has a boyfriend who she lives with. He was away all weekend. Me & my friend got quite drunk and left to go back to hers for a spliff (no drug lectures please, this isn't the place and I'm a toxicologist and was a hard drug user until 3 years ago so I know exactly what I'm doing to myself). We walked past another pub, could hear a band playing, went in on the fly, we were dancing, having great fun (we are really good friends). It was so spontaneous which isn't my forte. Then we were touching, it all felt so right, we kissed. Went back to her house, just chatted in the garden looking at the stars (actually mostly clouds) for ages...We had sex, chatted more after, I woke up at hers today (I did migrate from the bed to the sofa at some point cos she was out like a light, I had no room, didn't want to wake her and my mind was racing, couldn't sleep). This morning wasn't awkward, we were going to go for a day trip today (this was planned before yesterday) but she sacked it off because she is too hungover. She didn't seem too bad when I left, so maybe she just wants some space, I don't know. To be honest, I'm slightly relieved because my head is swirling and it ain't the hangover.
I don't really know if I have a specific question here, I just like getting my feelings on paper, it's extremely cathartic. I guess my problem is that I don't know what I want here. I like my friend a lot and there has always been a spark there, back when we first met in our late-teens our friends always used to tease us about our dynamic, made it awkward by saying we fancied each other all the time. I do find her attractive, body and mind. However, she has got a boyfriend, I know him (I like him well enough) and I have some serious intimacy issues of my own. I am in my mid-20s and have never been in a single relationship...nada, nothing, plenty of casual sex and one-night stands but nothing more. In fact I have nearly posted here before asking if MN saw this as a red flag. I have massive anxiety issues about it, I have low self-esteem and I am wracked with thoughts that I have been a 'bachelor' so long that I have no understanding of relationships & love. Intimacy makes me nervous, and I don't know if I can completely open up to anyone, I always hold a part of myself back. I'm scared that I have never loved, and I have developed a highly idealised notion of love (I blame Disney movies and cheesy love ballads) that I don't think reality can ever live up to. I sometimes think I should stay single my whole life because I can't live with hurting people.
This is all very fresh and perhaps I should have waited for what the next week holds before I posted. I feel quite bad. Maybe I shouldn't have gone with it last night, it takes two to tango but I could have stopped it, I should have stopped it as soon as our lips touched. She told me she was sexually unsatisfied in her relationship. I hadn't had sex for over a year. I was weak, but hell, I just want someone to hold just like everyone else. The two women I have fallen for in the last five years both rejected me and I'm depressed about it.
She is the one with the boyfriend and a big part of me feels that what happens next depends on her. However, I have some major issues in my mind relating to taking responsibility. I have a lot of regrets about not taking responsibility in my life in the past. My dad died unexpectedly when I was 17 and when my mum & sister needed me to be a man, to be strong, to be there for them, I couldn't do it. I withdrew for a year, they got addicted to anti-depressants (I don't believe in them). When they needed me to take responsibility I failed them, and I am racked with guilt about it. Maybe that's another issue altogether. I never took responsibility for my drug use (well I did eventually), I'm a very smart guy (we all have our pride, that's mine and I truly believe it), I was a 'gifted' child, but have insulted my intelligence, my gift, with the way I have lived and underachieved.
A year ago I became determined to always take responsibility for the rest of my life, to be Atlas. This morning my friend said things like 'you must think I'm a total slut' (No) and 'this was my decision' (No). I just hugged her, she had a bit of a cry, I tried to re-assure without being preachy. I really really don't want for this to all land on her, as I said it takes two to tango. Maybe she feels like crap for sleeping with me, but I can't feel crap for sleeping with her in all honesty, I enjoyed the intimacy, and for the first I time in my life I got to lie there and hold someone I care about.
As I said, this was mostly catharsis and I have talked about some stuff I had no intention of bringing up...I should probably pose some sort of question. If you think I'm a bastard for sleeping with someone in a relationship, feel free to tell me, I'm almost impossible to offend. I just need to chill out a bit maybe? Give my friend some space and let her be. However like I said I find that hard because I feel it is shovelling all the responsibility on her. I'm confused. If when I next see her we can?t keep our hands off each other and she wants me I highly doubt I will be able to stop. I really need to calm down I think.
If you have read all 1000+ words of this, you're a saint and I thank you. I feel a bit better now anyway. Normally my mum is my rock but I won?t talk to her about matters of intimacy, and the friends I might get advice from all know me & her so that's a no go. I couldn't keep this inside.
Just one point to make here, as you have had excellent advice already. Don't close your mind to psychological help - psychiatrists help people with mental illness and counsellors and psychotherapists help the rest of us with adjusting to difficult things as we go through life. That doesn't need to be medication it can just be talking things through. Some of your ideas are unnecessarily rigid for someone young!Be open minded you may be surprised !
Cheers for the posts guys, all of your perspectives are valued.
RE my friend, I'm planning on telling her tomorrow that I would like to talk about what happened, and asking her whether or not she wants to talk about it. I have a fair idea of what I will say, I'm not going to write it down though because I'll second guess it like crazy and I feel I need to be instinctive here and express myself naturally.
I have thought about all this a lot today, in fact I got quite fraught and just passed out in the early-evening. I have woken up now in the middle of the night (work is gonna be fun!) and feel somewhat philosophical. I am feeling a bit like the situation with me and my friend is a smokescreen. Most of my thoughts today haven't been about me & my friend, but about my mental wellbeing and issues that just get swept under the carpet in the humdrum of daily life. My OP does on reflection read like a cry for help, and despite all my railings about psychology and taking responsibility, I do need help I guess...
I do genuinely believe I am mad, which is the most horrible thing to believe because it needles into every core of your identity and makes you question who you really are. Society pathologises any minds that fall outside the norm and portrays them as a negative and any interaction with the mental health profession could see me labelled and brought into 'the system'. The most I will do is talk to Samaritans on the phone, which I do quite often - my stock response to anxiety is to ring them, they talk me through, I take a breath and slow down, actually I fear they have become my crutch a bit. I do think I need to get some hobbies, I basically spend 90% of my leisure time alone, I read a lot and think a lot. Sometimes I think I spend way too much of my time stuck in my own head and I feel trapped by it. My main activity is swimming, I love it because you can just lose yourself to the implementation of the stroke and time flows away. A few people have said 'in one so young' but I don't feel young, I feel like I broke my brain already and now I have to live with it. I do have a lot of happiness in my life that I appreciate hugely, I don't want readers to think I am swirling in a pit of despair. I can be melodramatic I will admit, despite all I have said I am a
barely functional human being. To the poster who said I sounded self-obsessed, I think this paragraph confirms your diagnosis
I have never talked about this to any of my friends or family. Even my mum who I love beyond measure and lean on for many things, I don't want to worry her, I just want her to be proud of me and can't show her a problem this integral to me because she would naturally want to 'fix' it. This feels too personal to burden my friends with.
I could write for a long time about this, in fact I already have, but this is relationships advice, not my own personal self-help forum, so I'm going to stop for my own good. This has been positive and educational and I will try and take it further through other means.
It sounds like your head over heels in love with her, and you've spent several years trying to suppress that feeling that you cannot admit it to yourself
You're way overthinking this, you're a free agent, people in their early to mid 20s are forever chopping and changing partners, bonking each other on the spur of moment etc etc, it's hardly a form of madness.
Just talk to her, see what she wants to do, be prepared though that she may feel very guilty and be a bit offish.
I have never heard so much self indulgent and over analytical tosh, both from you, OP and the respondents.
You slept with someone who has a bf. So what? She is not married and you are both really young. Shit happens. You both just need to decide what you want from here.
OP, if you are a toxicologist, you will know that drugs (especially hard drugs) do have an influence on the mind beyond the period when they are actually psychoactive in your body. If you have anxiety issues, why on earth are you still messing with dope?! First step, stop the drugs, cold turkey, for ever. Second step, why not try to make a go of a proper adult relationship with your friend, assuming she is interested? If she is not, look for someone else. I personally do not believe that a succession of one night stands is psychologically healthy either for a woman or a man. In any event, what are you doing to boost your self esteem? Are you investing time in doing really well at work, pursuing a meaningful hobby, further academic study? Self esteem will come from treating yourself decently, regardless of your relationship history. You may "feel old" but you are decidedly young, with all the time in the World to have meaningful relationships.
I do genuinely believe I am mad
Do you? Do you really? Please stop this silly posturing and analysing as if you were a lakeland poet or Dante bloody Gabriel Rossetti.
You are not mad. You did what a lot of people do (young or old). You say you don't want a relationship with her, so - what is all this about?
I thought you had gone OP but you seem to have resurrected yourself. You seem to enjoy writing - maybe consider creative writing as a hobby - a screenplay perhaps? Animals can be soothing too - a cat maybe?
"I can be melodramatic I will admit"
No fucking way! Never would've picked that from your posts
Look, you are way, way, way overthinking this. If you want a relationship, tell her how you feel. If you don't want a relationship, take a step back. All this angsty self analysis is terribly tiresome 'in one so young' or anyone, really.
It appears that as one door closes another opens OP.
I'm not reading any other replies, I'm just wading right in with my immediate thoughts.
Have you seen When Harry met Sally? The bit where they ended up in bed together? Well when you woke up in the morning did you feel like Harry or did you feel like Sally? Ok, I know Harry came round in the end, once he'd freaked out for a bit, but if you were feeling like Sally from the off it would be much less complicated wouldn't it?
I don't really buy all this 'I can't be in a relationship with anyone because it'll end in tears' stuff. You sound like you are trying to protect others, but actually I think you are trying to protect yourself. Nowt wrong with that of course, except nothing ventured, nothing gained. Trust in love. Sometimes it takes a while, with a few false starts but it gets there in the end, if you open the door and let it in.
Perhaps you are subconciously getting involved with women you think you can't have, as a way of avoiding the likelihood of an actual proper relationship? Much easier to write a script of 'we had a fling but it could never go anywhere as she is spoken for' or 'I really fancy her but she's out of my league so I have no chance' and than 'I really like this girl, I've started something now - I wonder where it will go and whether I will get hurt?'
She has a boyfriend so evn if she really likes you she's bound to be feeling confused and a bit crap for a while. Even if she is not terribly happy with him being unfaithful will have messed with her head, and leaving takes guts. Just keep your cool and see where it goes.
Oh come on people, don't be so harsh! He's young and inexperienced! I'm sure we've all over-analysed and over-romantised every shag we hoped would turn into something more when we were that age. If you can't navel gaze about the trials and tribulations of love and sex when you are only 20-odd then when can you?
You remind me a lot of an old friend. He was wonderful and extremely intelligent but thought about things way too much.
I'm not going to try to diagnose but do you think there is something more going on here?
My friend was Aspie. I'm not saying you are but perhaps there is MH issues or something?
I wish you all the best, you have one life try not to live it in your head.
Work out whether you want a relationship with her or not (what you want, not what you think about it all ending in tears or whatever.) Go and talk to her - she might or might not be wanting the same outcomes as you. If you both want the same thing, fine, but if you want different things, you just have to live with that.
Do try counselling. It's not about pushing medication, but it's someone to talk to and that helps you work through your own thoughts, and I think you do need to work on your self-esteem.
Otherwise you'll end up like me and still single in your 40s.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.