What should I do?

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What should I do?

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:06 am

Hello everyone. I've been talking to this girl I met recently at the beach with the intent to be in a relationship with her. After getting to know her on a deeper level, I'm now starting to see that shes incredibly shallow and "simpler" for lack of a better or compassionate term. The problem is as I said I've been talking to her for about a month and I've learned things about her life that can bring tears to someones eyes. For example her mother has cancer, her best friend just died in a car crash two weeks ago and her ex-fiance was found sleeping with another woman. (Yeh tell me about it) After skyping with her a little bit ago I would listen to her talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about herself for probably about 15-20 minutes before I got a word in and most of the time I was stuck just nodding my head; but the whole time I was listening I was all the while thinking of how to break it off with her. We don't have much of anything in common as she's really into materialism, T.V., Fashion, Gossip etc. all things I'm trying to do away with on my spiritual journey. So my question is; Should I tell her that I only want to be friends with her and try to show as much compassion as possible in regard to her problems? Or should I just completely cut off contact with her and save myself the stress and disappointment? Please understand. I feel bad about wanting to stop talking with her, as I promise you I came into this with nothing but the best of intentions and feel incredibly sorry for her. But again after hearing her talk about herself for 20 minutes and with regard to the other topics she chose to talk about, I really don't know if I can handle it. Please help.

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Re: What should I do?

Post by Ben » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:57 am

There's no reason why you can't continue to be a supportive friend. In fact, it's probably how she already views you.
Kind regards,
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: What should I do?

Post by Anagarika » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:21 pm

It sounds as though she might be somewhat insecure and fragile, especially considering her recent losses and stresses. All the more reason that you can be a supportive friend, and draw the line at any kind of romantic relationship. She's probably not ready to have a positive relationship in any event, and the connection would likely be stressful for you. It was kamma that brought you together to meet that day at the beach, and to cultivate this kamma, be wise and mindful of her circumstances. It may be that you are the wise, mature and supporting friend that she needs now most of all. So, be that for her, and don't drop a grenade into the process by becoming romantically involved. Perhaps one day, in many months, she will be ready for such a relationship, but only time will tell.

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Re: What should I do?

Post by TheNoBSBuddhist » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:42 pm

I hate to be the voice of dissent but I would exercise caution: You are asking us many questions and seeking input from a Buddhist perspective.

This will be of absolutely no consequence to her. She will have absolutely no notion of your interest in Buddhism and to be blunt,. it sounds, on the face of it, as if she never would have. In fact, she will either find it irrelevant, or use the globally-distorted image of "what a Buddhist should be" against you and condemn you for not being infinitely peaceful, loving, calm and open-armed as apparently all Buddhists Must be. Mustn't they? :roll:

One phrase: beware the Emotional Leech (or Vampire, as they are sometimes referred to.)

She's an emotional leech/vampire.
Look it up - they drain your emotional life-blood, invade your every thought and dominate your energy until they sap it.

There is a remedy, a 'silver bullet', a 'stake through the heart'.....


Counter every depressing negative thing they say, with an equally (and more so) UPLIFTING and POSITIVE thing about yourself
Then immediately change the subject to what you want to talk about.

I've 'killed' two emotional vampires this way.

And they do this themselves - they extract themselves, because they can't stand the bright light!!

There's a difference between Tolerance, and Acceptance, and there's a difference between Idiot Compassion, and Wise Compassion.

Tolerance - putting up with something, even though there are judgemental limits. Like religious tolerance. Hindus are welcome to live in the UK providing they do not burn their dead on six-foot-high wooden pyres, next to a river and chuck the remains into the water.

Acceptance is understanding that certain people have certain mores, values and opinions, and even though we might not agree with them, we vow to not argue or contest these, but see them as part of that person - 'warts and all' - and still reach out with a helping hand, regardless.

Idiot Compassion Supports somebody, but removes their own strength to work through the problem themselves. we do the donkey-work for them, then wonder why they're still falling flat on their face.....

Wise Compassion enables a person, with our support, to stand on their own two feet and find a skilful solution to their own problems.

If any of this rings alarm bells: Feel free to PM me.

You will not be punished FOR your 'emotions'; you will be punished BY your 'emotions'.


Pay attention, simplify, and (Meditation instruction in a nutshell) "Mind - the Gap."
‘Absit invidia verbo’ - may ill-will be absent from the word. And mindful of that, if I don't respond, this may be why....

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Re: What should I do?

Post by ihrjordan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:18 pm

Ben wrote:There's no reason why you can't continue to be a supportive friend. In fact, it's probably how she already views you.
Kind regards,
No, we actually both had the goal of getting to know each other then dating once she was comfortable to do so again.

So with that being said I too wasn't doing much supporting. All I did for most of the time she was going on was nod my head and say "wow"; and that was when she was talking about her ex-fiance. She never once went into great detail about her friend that died or her mother with cancer. Everytime I tried to tell her something about myself and have her get to know me, she looked kind of uninterested and I felt like she paid no attention. Also as I said she's really into all the stereotypical "girl things" clothes, shopping, blah blah and even though all this is going on in her life she seemed very happy and it made me think "maybe she lied" Looking back on our skype conversation I remember hearing her mom in the room with her and when I asked to introduce myself to her mother and she said that she was in the other room now.....I'm starting to think maybe that was because she didn't want to show me her possibly healthy mom to me.

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Re: What should I do?

Post by JeffR » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:52 am

Be a supportive friend and let her know you have no interest in romance.

If she's lying about things, she'll drop you. If she does need emotional support, many times all they need is an ear while they talk it out for themselves.

That's my advice in response to your request with the information given.

Therein what are 'six (types of) disrespect'? One dwells without respect, without deference for the Teacher; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Teaching; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Order; one dwells without respect, without deference for the precepts; one dwells without respect, without deference for heedfulness; one dwells without respect, without deference for hospitality. These are six (types of) disrespect.
:Vibh 945

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Re: What should I do?

Post by sattva » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:04 am

Hi ihrjordan!
I find all the answers given by others interesting and find some truth in each of them.

For myself, I think I have been on both sides of this situation and I am not sure exactly what the best answer is. I have also found myself wanting to extradite myself from a relationship after it started, but also wanted to be compassionate. It is even more difficult when it is a friend who expresses the patterns in behavior that you mention. Firstly, I think it is wonderful that you want to be compassionate and it doesn't always come easily, does it? As for the mother, there could be many reasons why she didn't want you to see her. You say that she seems happy, but she could be in denial. It isn't at all unusual when faced with traumatic events to pretend everything is alright. Talking about superficial things is a lot easier than talking about the hard stuff. Also, you should know that many spiritual women still care about fashion and looking nice. Don't be quick to pigeonhole her as not being spiritual.

You could take the initiative and ask about her friend. What was she like? How long did you know her? I bet you miss her.
How is she coping with her mom's cancer? Is she getting chemo? radiation? Has it been a big adjustment on the family? What can I do to help?

Okay, now I am going to make a different track. If you find she is totally getting to you. Here are some things you can do.
1. Do metta for yourself about this situation and do metta or karuna practice for her.

2. Set boundaries by limiting the amount of time both in frequency and in duration that you spend in contact with this individual. If not, you can easily start drowning yourself.

3. Remind her that she hasn't asked about you. I have one friend who will go on and on about everything in her life and not even think of asking about me. Sometimes these people just don't know how to communicate. They need taught!

4. Tell her that you know she has been having a difficult time and maybe someone professional could help her to deal with some of her problems. If she starts going on about her difficulties you can tell her you sympathize but that you are just not qualified to help at all.

5. Practice active listening skills. Maybe it will help if she truly think someone hears her.

6. When she starts talking about one of the subjects that you don't find interesting, question her about why it is interesting to her. Try to find what is driving her behavior. Even though the subject itself might not be interesting to you, I bet you will find some of the underlying reasons why she is interested in a subject fascinating to you. Become a detective, psychologist, an anthropologist in your dealings with her.

7. Start talking about your life before she can get started going on and on about her life.

8. Back to the frequency duration thing. If you decide to break it off totally, try to ease out of it slowly so that she can begin to turn to someone else for the comfort you provided. If you have to actually say the words goodbye make sure you add "I wish only the best for you."

Good luck!

ps. Look for her good qualities.

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