Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Help, I'm Falling For My Classmate!

Carlos (not his real name) is a fellow journeyer. We came to know each other through an online support group and we continue to support each other at least through e-mails and texts. With his consent, I am publishing his story in the Courage Philippines blog in the hopes of reaching out to those who may be struggling with emotional dependency, which is a common struggle for people with SSA, along with some advice from Bro. Rollie as well.

Good day friends in Christ.

This is Carlos from the Philippines. I am 23 years of age and a member of this group for almost a year now but due to time constraints mainly due to school, I am not really active in the group.

Here’s my story. I have this friend in school whom I realized I am having emotional dependency with. We realized that we have so many things in common. We both listen to the same type of songs, we never had girlfriends, and we both love talking about profound things. In addition to this, we spend so much time together since we eat lunch together in school. There came to a point when I realized I got so attached to him. Worse, I realized I am falling for him. I sometimes even envy the people whom he is talking to. How selfish of me. I just see myself in him and I felt so comfortable being with him and I have no pretentions when I am with him. I have not told him about my SSA issues for fear that he might ignore me.

Since many people in this group may have experienced similar situations, can you please tell how you were able to overcome your ED issues? How must I approach him? I cannot avoid him since basically we are ‘stuck’ in school together.

I really want to get over this feeling. I realized that I am just hurting myself in the long run. I do not want to love him more than a friend. How do we develop genuine male friendships without any selfishness?

I realized that I may have developed this longing for male bonding since, as in most of us here had insufficient male attachment to our fathers. Moreover, I realized that I usually had female friends prior to meeting him.

You can email me personally at so as not to flood the groups: _____@yahoo.com

Thanks a lot and may God bless everyone in this group.



Hi Carlos!

I received your story through Bro. _____'s initiative.

I am Rollie, currently the president of Courage Philippines. I am honored that you have entrusted to us your story. Rest assured that we will treasure it. Hope you won't mind if I share a few thoughts about your problem.

Emotional dependency runs in a relationship that is built EXCLUSIVELY between two persons. The amount of time we spend together strengthens our bond with the other, until such time that we are unable to see ourselves apart from the other. I do not want to sound too simplistic about it, but the key word to the healing of emotional dependency is NON-EXCLUSIVITY.

You don't have to avoid seeing the other person, you just have to try your best to spend time and develop your other friendships - even with your family. Meet his other male friends, or reach out to other male friends yourself. And that would mean really being there with the whole totality of you in every relationship that you are developing - and not just physically being there in family gatherings or group fellowships but your mind and heart is wandering about how your "friend" is doing at that specific time. Easier said than done for some, especially if the bond has really become strong. But it is not impossible - it takes a matter of time and effort and a heart of realizations that emotional dependency is actually relational idolatry - when we replace another person in God's place.

You may also have to develop more your relationship with God IN SOLITUDE, who would help you in weaning from your dependent relationship and start to fully grow as a mature Christian. See that if we are entangled with another person in relational idolatry, we stop pursuing our dreams and our growth as a human person (apart from that person). We do not see our worth apart from him or her. And that is the goal of Jesus - as we come closer to Him, He will make us realize the profound mystery of our being and existence, and the magnificent plan that He has for each one of us! When we are silent, God speaks to us!

You may explore the possibility of belonging to a community of Christians - who will help you come closer to Jesus, and who will help you develop intimate male friendships (which SSA male persons long for). Find one community in your parish and try to see how you may be able to join.

Since you are also in Manila, may I suggest that you also join us in our meetings in Courage, which happens every Sunday afternoon. Please feel free to contact me at 09285066974 and I would be glad to assist you in attending the meetings.

Read more about emotional dependency from certain articles in our blog.

God bless and hope to hear from you soon!

+ Rollie


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