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#1 Feb 02 2004 at 10:21 PM Rating: Good
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Went for coffee with an old friend tonight. She is one of my tamer friends. Very settled. Boyfriend of 11 years, house they love, good University job. After a few minutes of slurping joe, she decides she needs a real drink. She seems kind of out of it...a little...different. So, I ask her:

What's gotten into you?

Seems a harmless enough question; I mean I don't expect a real answer. She then tells me that, while she was away on a conference for work, she met the most amazing fellow. I mean this guy rocked her world. She didn't sleep with him, but is firmly convinced that she is in love with him, after only knowing him a few days. They are e-mailing now everyday and he has expressed similar feelings.

And, being the good friend that I am, I am going to Montreal with her in May so she can meet up with him on the sly. Now, here's my dilemma. I really like her current boyfriend. Should I be doing that? I mean, she's going to use me as an excuse to go to Montreal "just the girls" when really I'll be waiting for them to stop boning all night and come out with me.

I dunno. Sorry about the rant, guys. I guess I'm more than a little confused about matters of the heart these days. I wonder what you all might do. I love her, and I want her to be happy, but I am not 100% down with sneaking off to meet this other guy.

Anyone wanna invite me to visit? Smiley: sly Hehe.

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#2 Feb 02 2004 at 10:26 PM Rating: Good
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Sure, come visit me!

Hm, sounds like your friend has a case of the 7 Year Itch a few years too late. Maybe she could see this guy once or twice and then it would be out of her system?

But I'm like you. If it was one of my friends, I'd have a hard time being the "enabler" (sp?). Not sure what I'd do in your case. Tough call =(
#3 Feb 02 2004 at 10:39 PM Rating: Decent
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She should tell boyfriend of 11 years before she goes. Have the courage to be faithful or the courage to go for something else.

Cheating is uncool, and I don't think I would want to help.
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#4 Feb 02 2004 at 10:46 PM Rating: Decent
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If you agree to do this for your friend, just remember that when the current boyfriend puts two and two together, (the guy is from Montreal, your trip was to Montreal..) he is going to feel really betrayed by you for agreeing to hide this from him.

If she is as good a friend as you say she is, then she will understand if you decide not to be the "excuse" for her going to visit this guy.

#5 Feb 02 2004 at 10:46 PM Rating: Good
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Yup. Sounds like the less known "11 year itch". Um... Yeah. :)

I am curious though. She's been dating this guy for 11 years and they haven't gotten married? What's the story there? There has to be a reason for that. Not that I'm some pro-family drone or anything, but if you're going to be steady with someone that long, you may as well get married and get it over with.

I'd have to know more about what she's going through right now. Are there any plans for marriage with her current boyfriend?

If not, maybe this is her way to see if there's something "new" out there. She may be deciding that she really wants something more permanent and if she's not getting it where she's at maybe she needs to go looking before it's "too late".

If yes, then maybe she's just got a case of "last minute fling" going on. I mean, she's been going with the same guy for 11 years. Maybe the marriage thing is finally looming and she's a bit concerned that she's not seen enough "other guys" to be sure she's with the "right guy". That's a pretty common thing to happen when you see those long term high school sweethearts about to get married.


Again. I don't know anything about this woman, so I'm just throwing out possiblities. I don't know how old she is, how many boyfriends she had before the current one, how she feels about marriage, kids, etc.


As to being the enabler? Hard to say. If she's going to cheat on her boyfriend with this guy, she's going to do it whether you get involved or not. My instinct tells me that with you there, she has an excuse to back out if she decides to chicken out at the last minute. If she's even contemplating getting it on with this guy, then that's just something she's looking at doing. If it's not this guy, it'll be someone else later. People generally don't just randomly meet someone they click with unless they're looking. There was something going on with her and her perception of her relationship before she met this new guy, and nothing you do one way or another will change that. She'll have to work through it herself. Either she'll move on with the new guy, or she wont. But it'll untimately have to be her choice.


There is one huge danger though, and something to be very careful about. Again, I don't know the people involved, so I can't tell you (but you should be able to get a feel for this yourself). Depending on her personality, she could verywell be using this as a pressure tactic to get something she wants from the current guy. This ties into the "I want more from the relationship then I'm getting" idea above. She may very well be doing this whole thing intending all along to get caught at it. The intent may be to force the current boyfriend to move the relationship forward (or something else, hard to say). The point is that this could be dangerous for you to get involved in since as the "enabler", you'll be seen as the bad guy. She can always just cry to him and say something sappy to him like: "I wasn't sure you loved me, and it was a moment of weakness. But now I know you care, and I love you, and I never want us to be apart again" (blah, blah, blech). He, being a guy, will fall for that one. Especially when coupled (pun totally intended) with good makeup ***. He'll also get whatever message she was hitting him over the head with. You, on the other hand, are going to be stuck as "The friend who lied to cover up the affair", and have no such easy way out.


So. It totally depends on how well you know the motives of this woman. I'd have a really long talk with her and figure out why she's doing this. Then, you need to figure out whether the potential fall out on yourself is worth whatever benefit this may be for your friend (if there is one). Heh. It's a pretty sucky situation IMO. I'm just kinda suspicious that she's being so open with you about this in the first place. That's just odd...
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#6 Feb 02 2004 at 10:50 PM Rating: Good
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SelfishMan wrote:
If she is as good a friend as you say she is, then she will understand if you decide not to be the "excuse" for her going to visit this guy.


I think she would do it whether I am there or not, but me going along make the idea of the trip and the ability to get away a little easier. I have been friends with this girl for 15 years and, yes, she would understand if I didn't want to be the excuse for her trip, but does that really help her find happiness? No.

As for her boyfriend, I do feel some guilt there.I really don't want to be in the middle of it all. Perhaps you are right.

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#7 Feb 02 2004 at 10:57 PM Rating: Good
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Thanks Gbaji. Your post really made me think about it all. Well, they are not the "marrying" kind, if you get my meaning. They have been happy with the status quo up until now. Suddenly, she met this guy and it seems like her old life has slipped away. Her current boyfriend is a little unappreciative and perhaps a little bored too with the whole thing, not unlike most people in a really long term relationship. She seems desperate. She seems like she really needs this in her life. She honestly believes he is her soul mate, and all they did was hold hands.

As to me being the evil enabler, I guess that's a role I can fill for this friend. She has been there for me through thick and thin. Thanks for your advice on the "I want more from the relationship" angle. Hadn't thought of that. Bottom line to me: complacency is death. And it is.



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#8 Feb 03 2004 at 5:26 AM Rating: Good
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My best friend of over a decade asked me to lie for him a couple of months ago. He was in a long term relationship, yadda yadda yadda.

He supposedly (along with me) went to New Orleans, got way too drunk, and he crashed at my house. That would have been kosher.
What he did was meet some guy on the sly who is his "true love." He knew that I didn't agree with his cheating, and told him he needed to be a man and be honest.

He called to tell me that my lying was my Christmas present to him. We all met on Christmas Eve to exchange presents, and it was horrible. My friend kept talking about what we did in New Orleans, while I was talking about another friend being over at my house, etc. I wasn't aware that this was supposedly the same day. He neglected to tell me that.

I was sitting across the table from his partner, and I was absolutely miserable. Not once did I agree with any of the statements that we had gone to New Orleans, but neither did I baldly state that we had not. I noticed that night that the partner has eyes exactly like my lover, fire eyes. I told him that he had eyes that were impossible to lie to. That, and it's very well known by anyone I've had any face to face contact with that I'm an abysmal liar.

Long story short, my friend feels that I stabbed him in the back, and the partner feels that I betrayed him. Good riddance.

Being in the middle sucks ***. Do what you're comfortable with. After all, you're the one that has to live with your own decision.
#9 Feb 03 2004 at 5:37 AM Rating: Good
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Karma's a *****, Tare, be careful. I'm not down with cheating in any situation. Tell your friend to grow some balls (figuratively) and tell her boyfriend that she's over him. I think that's the least she owes him after 11 years and the hurt she'll cause, at least she can be honest... I wonder how her "soulmate" would feel knowing that she is the kind of girl that chooses to experiment with strangers when she's bored with someone rather than work her way through and talk about her issues. Storybook love is for children, people don't magically get along. This "soulmate" is by no means the answer to a prayer. Tell her to quit kidding herself. All he is is a giant arrow pointing to her own weakness. Sorry to be so harsh about this, truly, but any way I look at it this is an awful thing for her to do to someone she professes to have loved, or someone she claims to love now. If she truly wants a new beginning, then at least start on a clean slate.

Are you sure you aren't doing this because in some way, you wish it was you?

Edited, Tue Feb 3 10:38:46 2004 by Atomicflea
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#10 Feb 03 2004 at 9:52 AM Rating: Decent
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Sounds to me like your friend it simply awestruck by another guy paying attention to her.

I kinda had the same thing happen to me when I was bartending. A chick and some dude came in and had some drinks. While the guy was either looking over the menu, or in the bathroom, she would flirt with me big time. She even asked me for my number.

Back to the point...it feels really great to have someone pay so much attention to you again. It's the whole rush of dating someone new all over again.

I can't really preach without sounding like a hypocrite (many years ago, I had actually slept with 3 married women), my advice would be to try and convince your friend to forget about it.

After all, there is a saying that goes "If (s)he cheats with you, (s)he will cheat on you." I suspect that even if she did hook up with the new guy, after a while someone else will come along. Rinse and repeat, ad infinum (sp?).
#11 Feb 03 2004 at 10:57 AM Rating: Good
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The Glorious Atomicflea wrote:
Are you sure you aren't doing this because in some way, you wish it was you?


Nah, and maybe I should have been clearer. I did say all of those things to her about starting with a clean slate and telling her b/f before she goes etc. I honestly have never seen anyone so lovestruck though. This guy she's magically in love with is married and has a kid too. Talk about complicated craziness. The reason I'm going are twofold:

1. To support her. She is my friend, after all, and was long before her and current b/f got together. I like him very much but her friendship is old and dear to me.

2. Trip to Montreal! Woo hoo!!

And Nadenu has invited me to stay with her!!

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#12 Feb 03 2004 at 1:49 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
This guy she's magically in love with is married and has a kid too.
It was bad enough when it was just the boyfriend, but this makes it irresponsible and mean. I'm glad you value her friendship, but I don't know if this guy is worth it if he doesn't value his wife or his kid.
I'm calling it now-this will never make either of them happy, because you can't build true happiness on the misery of others.
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#13 Feb 03 2004 at 1:56 PM Rating: Good
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Points all well taken. I got an e-mail from her this morning. She apparantly called him last night and spilled her guts. He told her that he could not, and would not, leave his son. And that means staying with his wife too.

She is upset. I guess this whole thing has opened her eyes a little and maybe she will make changes in her life for the better. I support her no matter what.

So, in the cold light of day, I may not be going to Montreal, but then again, maybe I will anyway! Bonjour!

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#14 Feb 03 2004 at 1:58 PM Rating: Good
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Oh, definetely still take a trip, but take it somewhere WARM, for crying out loud. Come with Skeeter and I to lovely New Orleans!!!
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#15 Feb 03 2004 at 2:00 PM Rating: Good
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IN!

Thanks for the invite. Don't forget the catholic schoolgirl outfit and Skeeter's banana hammock. Wow - you 'mericans - so friendly.

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#16 Feb 03 2004 at 2:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Personally, I wouldn't be an accessory to breaking up an 11-year relationship and a family just for a case of puppy love. This is just silly. If you really are this girl's friend, tell her to get her head out of her **** and look at what's going on.
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#17 Feb 03 2004 at 2:02 PM Rating: Good
IN!

But on one condition.

I get to wear the Catholic schoolgirl outfit this time.

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#18 Feb 03 2004 at 2:03 PM Rating: Good
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I think she de-twated all on her own, Debalic. Hey, I just wanted to go to Montreal, but now I have some hijinks planned with the Queen and Concubine, so I guess it rules to be me!

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#19 Feb 03 2004 at 3:21 PM Rating: Good
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Ok, once again I will take a contraian view on things and say that your girlfriend is chickensh1t for wanting to step out on this supposed boyfriend and go on the sly and see this new guy. If she is going to see other people she needs to just end things properly. To not do so and keep the old boyfriend as a safety net speaks volumes about her character.

And don't get me started on the whole live-in for eleven years, pretend that we are married for all practical purposes but we just don't need a marriage license thing-- that shows me all that I need to know about these two.

Am I judgemental about her? Yep. But I take relationships seriously-- something she apparently does not.

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#20 Feb 03 2004 at 3:32 PM Rating: Good
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Hey, I was as surprised as you are, people. This is one of my "boring" friends. You know the ones that are predictable and you think you have them all fgured out and they never do much to alter your vision of them - then POW! She explained meeting this guy like having some sort of supernatural experience. I have never met someone that I felt that way about but, hey, who am I to say? These things could happen. Only, in this case, it would seem that "fate" is not at work here, unless they are fated to live apart.

As far as relationships go, I agree with you, Totem. I told her that she needed to clean house before we went to Montreal, and she said she would. Meanwhile though, her current b/f is totally confused and wonders why she cries all day long. It's a sad story, but it has got me thinking about "fate" and whether there is a "soulmate" for people out there and do we have this mind-boggling moment when we meet that person? Something that changes your life? I personally think with my dink too much...so no soup for me!!

Edited, Tue Feb 3 15:38:32 2004 by Tare
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#21 Feb 03 2004 at 3:49 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
It's a sad story, but it has got me thinking about "fate" and whether there is a "soulmate" for people out there and do we have this mind-boggling moment when we meet that person?

Excellent topic for a V-Day thread....

hint,hint
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#22 Feb 03 2004 at 3:57 PM Rating: Good
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Not really.

We have grown to accept this idea of "falling in love" as if we are somehow recipients of Fate, that there was a hidden hole that tripped us up and now we have fallen somehow. The idea of a soulmate-- that one person out there who is the yin to our yang --is so much romantic crap.

Can there be a connection between two people that feels electric? Certainly. It's called infatuation, which, when combined with boredom in a stale relationship, can result in bad decisions. After all, what else did she expect to feel when she is in a going-nowhere relationship and meets somebody new? A yawning been-there-done-that sense of deja vu? Of course not. It eclipses the older relationship with its' intensity and leads the unwary into believing that this is what a mature satisfying relationship will always feel like.

A solid, happy, satisfying relationship is 90% mind, 10% heart. It is up to the work ethic of the couple that determines whether or not the union will last.

Interestingly, I listened to Donald Trump the other night discuss his relationships. It was amazing that someone so smart could be so unwise. Granted, he is a financial genius, but when it comes to things that really matter, he dumber than a sack of hammers. He said of his relationship with Marla Maples-- and I quote --"She said to me, 'We have to work at remaining together,' and I said to her, 'If a relationship takes work, then it probably isn't the right relationship.'" Here is a guy who can make money seven ways from Sunday, but doesn't know a thing about real happiness, despite having serial wives and girlfriends. The same principles which apply to his business, for some reason in his world, don't apply to his life. If he took that concept to the matter of brushing his teeth, he'd be toothless.

Therein lies the lie of modern life. Somehow marriages and relationships are convenient, easy, disposable. Nothing requires tending to, nothing requires careful consideration. We just make snap decisions, act on our impulses, and wonder why nothing seems to satisfy.

Your girlfriend is a prime example of this.

Totem
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#23 Feb 03 2004 at 4:12 PM Rating: Good
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Totem wrote:
Therein lies the lie of modern life. Somehow marriages and relationships are convenient, easy, disposable. Nothing requires tending to, nothing requires careful consideration. We just make snap decisions, act on our impulses, and wonder why nothing seems to satisfy.


Good point, Totem. I will actually say that to her when I see her on Friday, in a softer gentler way, of course. Smiley: wink2 I think you are right. There comes a time when you have to stop looking for the BBD, in all aspects of your life, and simply nurtur what you have. I know this is true, and yet the "possibility" is what always gets me. I wonder about happiness; how do you gauge it in a life so finite? I mean, you get one shot at life and shouldn't you do all you can to experience true happiness while you have the chance? I'm forever wondering if things just couldn't be a little bit better with that other guy, or in that new city or job etc etc etc. This is a trait I recognize in myself and I just wonder how many others feel the same way. I guess I believe in fate that much. Don't you ever wonder if you're life could be different if you had met someone else? Could you be happier? Do we all need to just re-focus our energy?
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#24 Feb 03 2004 at 4:17 PM Rating: Good
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Life is not about the attainment of happiness, it is about the expression of joy. This is a subtle, but tremendously important difference.

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#25 Feb 04 2004 at 4:36 AM Rating: Good
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Totem,

For someone so **** smart, and you do strike me as very intelligent despite your flaming bullsh*t, you are so incredibly jaded.

There ARE soul mates for people. Just because someone is in love with someone else doesn't make them their soul mate. Just as the fact that someone has great ***, or a tight friendship, or is addicted to, or comforted by someone else, doesn't mean they're in love.

By not believing in them, people set themselves up to never find them. Period. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all that crap.

It may be romantic, but it's certainly not crap. It's a shame you don't know the difference.

My sincere condolences.

*Edited * Poor grammar and what not.

Edited, Wed Feb 4 04:40:37 2004 by Dalliance
#26 Feb 04 2004 at 11:44 AM Rating: Good
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Huh.

Dalliance, I think that those who truly know me would say that I am an incurably and pathologically optimistic and sentimental romantic.

While I don't dispute that two people out there can be soulmates--because the person you choose can be that person by force of will --I reject the idea of there being a person out there who is somehow your spiritual/mental/emotional/physical match on a basis of that you don't "feel" that with the person to whom you are presently bound.

Mind you, that doesn't mean you stick with the first one you cross paths with, but rather after careful consideration and cultivation that nebulous bond called a soulmate becomes exactly that. There are many many acceptable and compatable mates for each of us out there despite what romance novels would have us believe. Those books propose that there is one and only one person in the world who you can truly be happy with. Now really-- where is the logical sense in that?

It boils down to this: Relationships take a tremendous amount of work. And it is not chore-like work, but attention and care much like personal hygiene. You don't think of showering or brushing your teeth as "work," do you? Of course not (unless you are from the Ozarks). It's just the normal maintenance that anything needs. But there is the rub. We as humans are selfish and spending that time on our mate requires we give up of ourselves to tend to them, so working at a releationship is contrary to our very nature-- some more than others.

And just like personal hygiene, the effort you put into a relationship pays off dividends far in excess of the time and energy you placed in it. And just like dressing up, when you devote attention to your relationship you become proud of what you have created, which in turn creates more affection and a sense of well being, which leads to more enjoyment of one another.

The truly only amazing thing about this is that so many people just don't get it.

Now Dall, don't misunderstand me here, but for you to say that I seem jaded suggests to me you have not reached that level of maturity and comfort in your relationship that I have. And this is not a knock on you (because I could be completely off base here) since most people will never attain what my wife and I have built over the past 24 years. I myself might never have enjoyed this marriage except that my parents lovingly and patiently showed my how over the course of their lives. And they will celebrate their 50th anniversary this summer.

50 years together! That takes some work, believe me! But they are like honeymooners together only more so since they have this deep deep understanding of each other that any real honeymooners couldn't.

True love isn't infatuation. It is the solid bedrock of committment pinned down by the reasoned, non-emotional decision to make a marriage work.

Does any of this make sense to you? I hope so, because I have just given you the keys to the kingdom. If you and your partner take on that challenge, a happy-- nay, joyful marriage is within anyone's grasp.

Totem
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#27 Feb 04 2004 at 12:06 PM Rating: Good
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I'll say that I've been through several relationships and there was always this assumption of the "other," you know, he and I, he or I. When I started to date Skeet it was an almost instantaneous "us." We've talked about it and agree that we recognize each other's faults but they don't make the other person seem in any way truly flawed. I don't have this storybook passion (which isn't to say I don't jump him every now and then , you haters, Skeet is H-O-T-T), but it's this amazing warmth and closeness that we don't work at, and a lot of communication which we do work on. I love him like I do my family (not filial), but that imperfect, permanent love you have for people that you can eventually forgive for all the petty things, and I think that's what made the whole concept of marriage okay for me. There is nothing he can do to make me not love him, and I know he feels the same, although at times I'm sure he'll tick me off, as I will him. I don't know if that makes us soulmates, but it is different than what I was taught from movies and TV (My parents marriage was no example).
I hate to agree with Totem, but there is nothing truer than his statement about the time you invest in the other person being returned to you through the strength of your bond.
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#28 Feb 04 2004 at 1:13 PM Rating: Good
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Not quite awake yet, but the only thing in your entire post that I don't agree with is that a "soul mate" is a force of will.

The rest was beautiful. Will go through it when I'm not seeing double.

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