Slim (shapedfromsin) wrote in shrink_ology,

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A question that I hope someone can help me with...

I joined this community a while back and am now posting for the first time. I think I was holding off to make sure I couldn't take care of the issues myself before asking someone else about them. >> I am interested in the prospects of both taking and giving advice; I've even been told I'm particularly good with the latter. But I digress.

I am impressed with this community and I trust you with a problem that I've been dealing with lately. I hope someone can help me out.

I'm an author. I write both for myself and for others. Most of my work can be found on the Internet, and I've met a lot of wonderful people through it [mostly people who have reviewed by work, though I have met a few other authors, too]. Two or so years ago -I can't remember the exact date- one of my readers contacted me and we hit it off and got to be great friends. "Joseph" is a lot more outgoing than I am, which I picked up on right away, even though we never talked face-to-face. He was the kind of person who would be the life of a party. Whereas me, I'm a bit more confined and conservative, not to mention shy. I'm more serious and I rarely joke when the situation does not call for it. Joseph, I also learned, is a huge flirt. He initiated a lot in our conversations, though nothing was forced or drastic. I went along with everything. I found myself truly falling in love with him. The problem was, it didn't mean anything to him. He wasn't trying to mess with my emotions or anything, he was just being his flirtatious self.

I have watched [well, not literally 'watched'] Joseph go from partner to partner over the past year. Obviously, there are people in his own town who are attracted to him. I cannot help but feel jealous over this, sometimes to the point where I am in tears. I wonder, why doesn't Joseph feel anything for me? Of course, I understand that the distance might play a role in it. But I am a very compassionate and sensitive person, and once I latch onto something, I never let go. That has been true for Joseph and me. I think about him constantly, even when we are not speaking online. I play "mother hen" quite often when he is in a tough situation. I both admire and envy his personality and attractiveness, both of which make me feel like less of a person compared to him.

In May, I got together romantically with "Matt". Like Joseph, I met him through my writing about a year ago. While I do have feelings for him and he is a wonderful person, I no longer love Matt as much as I did, say, a month ago. I feel guilty because of my desire to be with Joseph. I think that Matt deserves someone who will treat him like the amazing person he is, versus a second choice. It is both unfair to myself and to him. I certainly know how I would feel if that was me. I am thinking of breaking things off entirely with Matt, with hopes that we can still remain friends.

This is the real problem in all of this: I know that I can redeem myself slightly by telling Matt the truth, but I will never be able to talk to Joseph about my feelings. I am wondering how I can be more laid back and carefree about the situation, and how I can fight the urge to hate this perfect person. It seems awfully hard not to be jealous, but I know that it's not his fault. I have been dealing with self esteem issues since the beginning of middle school [I'm a high school student now]. I wonder if anyone else has been in a similar situation and knows how to cope with it.


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