He is my mentor for seven months and his soul has attracted me. Whenever I face any issue, my daily doings, emotions, home issue, I text him. Although he really minds when I give updates. These days he treats me in the worst way. He ignores me. But I cannot stop thinking about him. I want to ignore him to save my self-respect, but I am unable.
He probably thinks I am a characterless person who wants to be his girlfriend. I made it clear to him that I have no such Ill feelings, but he ignores my texts. He doesn’t reply. I feel very low afterward. Please tell me why I feel as If I have some connection with him? Why do I stay obsessed with him?
In this counseling answer:
• Naturally, when someone puts effort into helping you and invests their time in you, such as a mentor, you will develop feelings towards them.
• He does not necessarily have ill feelings towards you, but he wants to protect you both from potentially falling into haram by putting a stop to overstepping any boundaries that may lead to that. He ignores you in order to protect your self-respect and dignity as well.
• If you keep in mind the good reasons why he is doing so – not to hurt you, but to protect you both -, then your feelings will not be so negative, and you will be less hard on yourself as you realize that is nothing personal towards you.
• Ensure that you don’t continue to push at the boundaries in an inappropriate way, for both of your sakes and for the sake of pleasing Allah (swt).
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,
It is understandable why you feel so low when the person you feel so strongly seems to be pushing you away. There are a number of issues, both on yours and his part, which could be responsible for your situation and feelings.
Naturally, when someone puts effort into helping you and invests their time in you, such as a mentor, you will develop feelings towards them. Maybe not always romantic, but you will certainly end up developing positive feelings for them because you are exposed to their good side.
You say that anytime you have any problem, you resort to texting him. Naturally, as he has helped you with your studies, you trust him to assist you with other matters, too and feel comfortable to disclose such private and difficult matters to him. However, you need to keep in mind that he was your mentor for schooling purposes alone. You need to be aware of crossing boundaries and remaining within the confines of the professional relationship that you have developed with him.
This is important for a few reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, to protect you from falling into sin and entering a haram relationship. Secondly, to protect both yours and his reputation. From his point of view, if others see him going beyond the boundaries of the study mentor relationship that you have together, then people will be thinking badly of him and will start to view him in a bad way which will have a detrimental impact on his own life. Likewise, the same could happen to you.
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Understand that this is probably a more likely reason why he seems to ignore you. He does not necessarily have ill feelings towards you, but he wants to protect you both from potentially falling into haram by putting a stop to overstepping any boundaries that may lead to that. He ignores you in order to protect your self-respect and dignity as well.
Don’t forget also that if someone who is senior to him finds out that he is going beyond a professional relationship with someone he is mentoring, he runs the risk of losing his role of a mentor altogether, which may, in turn, be detrimental to his future career.
In addition to the fact that people within a helping role will become well-liked by those they help, in your position you say he is someone senior, too; therefore, he is more experienced in life and obviously succeeding in mentoring others to achieve their goals. This can be very attractive to someone of the opposite sex. Certainly, when we are seeking a spouse, the characteristics that are exhibited by someone in a mentoring role are the kind of ones that we will be seeking in a spouse.
I understand that although there are likely more logical and rational explanations for his seemingly negative behavior, that doesn’t help. In fact, it might only make things feel worse because it paints him in an even better light than you already view him. However, reframing your thoughts according to my explanation will help you to overcome the low feelings that you experience due to the way he seemingly neglects you, especially in times of crisis.
If you keep in mind the good reasons why he is doing so – not to hurt you, but to protect you both -, then your feelings will not be so negative, and you will be less hard on yourself as you realize that is nothing personal towards you. This may, in turn, make you feel less needy towards him and, therefore, less likely to overstep the boundaries that you are currently struggling with.
In order to overcome this, in addition to reframing your thoughts on why he is behaving this way to the more likely scenario, do all you can to ensure that you don’t continue to push at the boundaries in an inappropriate way, for both of your sakes and for the sake of pleasing Allah (swt). When meeting him, always ensure to have a mahram with you. If this is not possible, or you think this will not do anything to prevent your feelings towards him, then you might think about seeking another mentor to ensure you don’t fall into any trouble.
May Allah (swt) ease your affairs and bring you comfort in your life and contentment with your blessings.
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