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Relationships and self-boundaries

I have this problem — when I am in a relationship (and by the term relationship, I mean that broadly - not intimate relationships specifically) with someone on whom I have a crush, who fits a specific archetype (strong, older, powerful woman who is really nice to me), I will do anything for her - even if there are costs to myself.

This is pretty much a lifelong pattern - the first time I remember this is in the second grade - and it continues to today. I’m trying to navigate this one differently- but something happened today that has me really mad at myself.

She needed help with something, and I said I was happy to help. But, it never happened - and I spent my afternoon waiting for her to contact me. I got work done - it wasn’t a total waste, but I had planned to come home early to do some things at home.


I left university quite late - and just felt so mad at myself. I was trying to figure out tonight why I was so upset. If I could go back in time, I still wouldn’t say no to helping her - she’s been amazing to/with me, and I’d do anything for her. But, I’m upset because she means so much to me. And, as is not uncommon for me, although I am important to her (professionally), my meaning to her is far less.

This needs to not be my most important relationship. I need others in my life who similarly make me feel good about myself and who care about who I am and where I am going. If I had that, this particular relationship would be an important one, but not *the most* important one.

My mom once said (right after my dad died) that what she loved most about him was that he would go along with whatever she wanted, he would do anything for her. I’ve completely inherited this trait of his (which is kind of interesting from a gender role perspective). But, I have to figure out how to navigate this particular pattern of ours differently, for my own sake - and for the sake of this relationship (because I want her to be my mentor for a very very long time!).

Edited to add: I’m not looking for advice on this. If you have dealt with similar things, I’d love to hear about that.

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