Confused about feelings for a friend, so I ghosted them.

    • Confused about feelings for a friend, so I ghosted them.

      This might be a long one (sorry), I haven't used a forum like this before so I hope I'm doing this right.

      I have an online friend (same age as me - 17) that I've known for almost a year now, we get along really well and I'm always excited to talk to them, and from what they've said the feeling is mutual. Around maybe May/June-ish, I started wondering if maybe they had a crush on me in some way, just due to how they were talking to me. I mostly tried not to give it any thought because it seemed unlikely, but I soon ended up becoming somewhat obsessed with the idea of them liking me. For ages I thought to myself "Well, you're just insecure so of course you'd like the idea of somebody you admire to like you" which is true, but as time went on my feelings started to change a bit and I wasn't sure if it was just wanting to be wanted anymore, or if I actually had a crush. This is kinda where all the problems come in.

      Firstly, I don't want to have a crush on them. I'm scared that having one would ruin our friendship, and whenever I'm talking to them and thinking about my potential crush on them I feel like I'm a creep with ulterior motives for befriending them, even though I know that I'm not. My brain isn't very kind or helpful to me in situations like that, which leads me to panic and sort of shut down - I started to become distant with them in our conversations, barely showing emotion, and answering questions bluntly and deflecting. I felt guilty for potentially liking them and found it very hard to talk to them normally when my head was so full and confused. I was incredibly upset with myself and full of self loathing for being stupid and over-emotional, and this anger against myself ended up manifesting into my messages to them. I was never downright mean, but I'm pretty sure my abruptness and obvious lack of interest in conversation was hurtful - I didn't want to be rude to them, but I couldn't bring myself to pretend to be in a good mood and end up stuck in a long conversation, so instead I just tried to end it as quick as possible every time. I didn't want to tell them that I didn't feel up to talking, because then they'd ask what was wrong and there is no way I am answering that question.

      I realised that I couldn't keep communicating like that because it was hurting them and they don't deserve that. I was feeling overwhelmed with guilt, because it felt like I was hiding something from them, or that I was lying. So, I decided that it was time to come clean. I had pretty sufficient evidence to suggest that they at least used to have a crush on me, so I hoped they wouldn't be super harsh on me. I was about to start drafting a message when I went to check what they had been listening to on Spotify - long story short, I realised that the playlist they made was about their ex. There was no way now that I could throw on that extra stress of potentially making them uncomfortable with all that info, on top of the feelings they already were dealing with. So... I didn't say anything. And our communication got even worse.

      Once again, I couldn't keep doing what I was doing. I needed time to deal with my own issues and thoughts and feelings first. So one night while I was tossing and turning because I couldn't sleep, I made the impulse decision to leave every group I'm in with them, and set my status to invisible on every online platform we had each other on. And then I just stopped talking to them. I didn't want them to be able to see any evidence of my existence because I felt like they'd be better off without me at all. Because they mean so much to me as a friend, I'm so much more scared of ruining what we have. Part of me hopes that maybe they'll just forget about me, and then I won't have to deal with all of this.

      Its been just over a month now since I ghosted. They sent me a message after a few days saying that they were worried about me and wanted to know if I'm okay. I didn't respond. They sent another message sometime around the 2 week mark, but they unsent it. I know its an asshole thing for me to do, but I'd rather let them decide to hate me on their own then to trap them in direct confrontation about how I feel or whatever, especially when I don't even know how I feel. I'm writing an EP about all this to get my feelings out, and I've set a rule for myself that I can't talk to them until I've finished it, to give myself the chance to properly vent everything out, and hopefully be able to see the situation with a clear head. I gave myself until Christmas to have it published, which means that I'll be talking to them again before the year is done. I'm still not sure yet whether I do tell them or not though - it sort of depends on how I feel afterwards I guess. I'm not gonna tell them about the EP, I don't think, at least not for a while. I don't want to keep things from them but I'm also not ready to be that vulnerable yet.

      I suppose I'm not too sure what I'm looking for in this forum - advice on what to do? How to figure out my feelings? Where this all sits morally? Dunno. But I think anything would be helpful. I care very deeply for this person and I don't want to hurt them. Thank you for taking the time to read all this, I've never been good at condensing information but it means a lot :)

      TL,DR: I ghosted my friend because I think I might have feelings for them and don't know what the right course of action is without hurting them or our friendship