Dear Just Wanting It To End;
Your question illuminates a situation I’ve always had mixed feelings about. Dating friends of your friends.
On one hand people say it’s a good idea to meet someone to date through mutual friends. That way you know something about this person’s background and who his is, where he’s been, where he may be going. You also have some common points of reference with each other. This makes a lot of sense. In theory.
And as we know theory and reality are the same thing. In theory.
On the other hand being in a relationship with someone who has mutual friends with you can lead to a whole assortment of problems if and when a breakup occurs. It can also result in information or actions polluting your pool of friends which builds up to a civil war within the circle.
Speaking for myself I’m always very reluctance to date or have sex with anyone who is friends with any of my friends. Which is excessively difficult here in Fort Collins being as we have One Degree Of Separation. Everybody knows everybody in this town. Walk up to a random person. Name ten people you know and I guarantee that person will know at least one of them.
I bring this up only because you entered into a relationship with somebody from your circle of friends when you clearly shouldn’t have. Why should you have not done this? Because as you yourself state you knew this person had a history of neediness.
Not just neediness but delusions.
I say neediness because this person has been in a relationship every moment of his life since he was 15. If this is true we are dealing with a person who has no concept of himself without another person to serve as an anchor. There’s nothing wrong with being a solid relationship and having another person as your anchor. There is something wrong with having never had a point in your life where your anchor had to be yourself.
I say he is delusional because 15-year-olds do not have relationships. I’ve heard this line before. I have a fair number of friends who are 18 and younger. Nothing cracks me up more than some 17-year-old who tells me “I’ve been in a relationship for three years.” Not making this up. I’ve actually had 17-year-old children say this to me. 15-year-old kids do not have relationships. 15-year-old kids who think they are having relationships are delusional.
Thanks to public education 15-year-old kids can’t even spell relationship. Thanks to spell checking software I can.
Thus in answer to my favourite question “what are you contributing to the problem” we can say that you went some place you shouldn’t ‘ave gone. You saw the signs that said “Road Closed”. You drove right past them. But it is what it is and it’s not helpful to whine about the past when we need to look to the future.
Solving Your Situation
How can you get him to understand he doesn’t need to be in a relationship every day of his life? You can’t. You could try logic and reasoning. You can send him to Ask Us Fort Collins to read what Robyn and I have written. Yet ultimately only he can convince himself that he doesn’t need to be in a relationship every moment. Only he can set himself free of the neediness, insecurity and delusions.
What can you do to facilitate the end of this relationship?
Normally I would say simply stop all contact with this person. However since you have a group of common friends that’s not really going to work. Neither of you should have to alienate yourself, or be alienated from, your group of mutual friends. In fact your mutual friends may be the best opportunity to make things better for everyone.
Since you and your mutual friends have not removed this guy from your circle I’m assuming he has traits that make up for his neediness in relationships. I’m assuming that you and your mutual friends do in fact consider him a real friend and not a nuisance. (If that’s not true why is he still around?) That being the case and since your mutual friends know what’s going on just as well as you do – enlist their help to steer him clear of your relationship.
He must have something in his life he cares about other than being in a relationship with a girl. You and your friends can steer him in the direction of other endeavours. Take him out to do something that will take his mind off of how much he needs to be sending you a text to see if you want to get back together. Oh wait, you didn’t really break up from his point of view – but you know what I mean. He must have some hobbies or passions in his life that all of this energy can be channelled into. Help him discover and connect with these things.
A one track mind leads to a one track life. You’ve gotta derail his fixation. A benefit of getting over his relationship fixation will be that he’ll become more attractive to girls. One can never be too attractive to girls. That’s like having too much beer in your fridge. Not gonna happen.
Speaking of girls, get some of the other boys in the group to take him out and meet some girls. I don’t want him to simply transfer his relationship fixation from you to some other unsuspecting woman. I do want him to grasp the startling knowledge that there are other women on the planet Earth besides you.