I’m in a hobby club that is a valued source of community (and regular exercise…) for me. We meet 1 to 2 times a week. I met a woman there a few months ago who is lovely and I ended up getting a little crush. She seemed into it too, so after some hesitation I decided to ask her out. But before I did I heard she had kissed someone else from the same group. I think he had sped up his timeline having seen us interact and I’m kicking myself for not doing anything sooner.
They will be good together I think, but how do I deal with A) feeling like he’s a dick, despite knowing I would have done the same thing and B) the lingering awkwardness and jealousy. We all treat each other with kindness and respect but there is a lot of unspoken tension underneath.
I’ve stepped away from the club for a little bit, but I do have responsibilities there and also I’d like to not exclude myself from a good community just over this. What do I do? How do I move on when we see each other so often?
First I want to say that this situation sucks, and it’s totally normal to feel disappointed. I’ve been there with watching a crush date someone else and it can be hard to deal with.
You, however, have done yourself a disservice. Not by not asking this woman out in time, but by making up a scenario in your head and then putting the energy into believing it. You say this guy must have seen you with her, and sped up his timeline, but do you know that for sure? It doesn’t sound like you do. How could you? Unless you confronted him directly and asked and he confirmed and you didn’t tell us here, you don’t know about his motivation.
Making up this reasoning makes him out to be a villain, and maybe he’s just a guy who also had a crush on the same person you did. That’s totally normal and fine if he is. He really didn’t do anything to you, he just made a move. That’s all.
This is how you avoid feeling like he’s a dick. By telling yourself that you don’t for sure know what he was thinking. Hell, he may not have been aware of you or your crush at all. It doesn’t even matter if he did know and made the move anyway. But this is entirely something you are telling yourself to feel better, in my opinion. It sucks to see your crush with someone else and making that someone else a dick might soften the blow, but it doesn’t change the fact that he kissed her and you didn’t.
Once you work this out for yourself, I think the rest of the answers will come. There still might be some lingering jealousy, but you have to tell yourself that you don’t have a claim on this woman, she’s allowed to date or kiss whoever she wants even if that person is not you. If you want to treat both him and her with kindness and respect, it starts by accepting that they are their own realized human beings and not characters in the movie of your life. You don’t always get the girl, and that’s okay.
Continue to take time away from the group, and when you’re ready, you can come back. Having a community of people you enjoy is super important during this time, and you don’t want to ruin the experience over something as small as a kiss. If you’re really that hurt, you might want to find a similar group and join that one with all new people and new experiences. But if you want to keep the one you’ve got, I’d recommend taking some time for yourself and talking with friends about your feelings, then rejoining the crew when you feel like you can.
Good luck friend!
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.