Vahid’s Story

But Happened Difficulties...*


Vahid’s Story
by Nazy Kaviani

From "Kissing all the frogs" series.

I pour two cups of tea, and bring out the cookies my sister brought me from Iran.

My friend is not himself today. He moves too fast and talks even faster. It’s as though his mind is on fire. He rattles off thoughts and sentiments and questions, barely waiting for me to get a word in edgewise. He says:

"You know, everything in this world is upside down and out of order! I love someone and she doesn't care for me. Why can't it be that I love someone who loves me, too?”

“I'm so sick of feeling rejected all the time. I know she doesn't want to be with me, that she doesn't care for me, but I keep pushing forward, trying harder and harder, and feeling more and more unwanted every time. I know I need to stop, because I'm falling only nominally short of stalking her, waiting for her to tell me off at every new attempt, which of course she hasn't yet. But I just can't stop myself! I feel so disgusted.”

“I don't want to be like this. I want her to love me and let me show her how much I love her and how good things could be when two people love each other. To make things worse, this other person in my life does exactly the same things for me as I am doing for the woman I love. She calls and writes and comes and stays and lingers and follows me with her eyes, but I'm not stirred, I'm not moved, and so I push her away, all the time knowing exactly how she must be feeling. I am disgusted, desperate, and really lonely. Can you tell me what to do?"

I say to him: "No." He says: "That's it?!! 'No?' You need to help me. You need to tell me what women think! You need to show me how to win her heart! You have to tell me what to do to make her love me!" I say: "I think I can help you love a woman who loves you. But I can't help you win the love of someone who doesn't want you. I don't know how to play those games, so I can't teach you how. Sorry, I wish I did, but I don't. I can teach you how to see and hang on to what you have. I don't know how to go looking for what you don't and can’t have."

My friend picks up his car keys and his cell phone and starts for the door. His shoulders are tense and his eyebrows are knotted into a frown and his lips are pushed together into a thin line. As he heads for the door, he turns toward me and says: "I love her and want her to love me, did you get that?"

And as I start to tell him: "Yes, Einstein! I did and I already told you I can't help you," I see the flash of tears in his pained eyes. I say: "Come sit down, you! Tell me again why you love someone who doesn't love you?" He comes back reluctantly, pulls out a chair and sits down to first cry the tears of hurt and pain that have been building up inside him for months. We cry together.

* From Hafez's first ghazal: "That love seemed easy at first, but happened difficulties".




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more from Nazy Kaviani

Sexual liberation vs other stuff

by Rajab (not verified) on

"And another question for you and others. Has sexual liberation helped Iranians in diaspora to find better soulmates? Or has it just procured easy access to sex? I get a little confused with the concept of sex-buddies, for example. While I appreciate the practicality of the approach, at the risk of sounding really old-fashioned, I get bewildered with the notion of everybody getting dressed and going on to their other lives after satisfying sex with a person, as though nothing happened!"

Nazy I think this is a good question and many struggle with it or at times just give into it.

I'd look at the age group to better answer or understand your question. Lets take women in this case, men in general aren't complicated ;-)

I think women in their 20s or 30s aren't looking for just "sex buddies" unless they're obsessed with him. Maybe a HS or College sweetheart or first love, or if they are too shy. Other than that I don't see why they would need 'just' a "sex buddy". Women in this age group are planning for their careers or lives and they want something more, they want something they can hang their hat on.

Women in their 40s or 50s are the ones making the most noise! I don't blame them. While women are used as sex objects and used to sell everything "sex sells" moto, they are mostly forgotten when they reach their 40s and 50s. At least to certain extent. So it is normal for them to make noise saying; hey wait a minute what just happened here?

So while 40 and 50 year olds still want a long term relationship (which women doesn't?) their choices are limited and since many 40 or 50 year old men who are looking are divorced and don't want a commitment, becoming "sex buddies" is the alternnative left. It is either that or being a "good old girl" and what benefit does that bring to one?

It doesn't really matter about Iranian in diaspora. People don't publicize their sex life, so Iranians or any other nationality do their business in private.

So I'd say whatever works. As long as you understand the level of commitment you're involved in. It cuts both ways. In the end I still think men want long term relationships in their 40s and 50s, it is just a bit harder and the standards are a bit higher than 20s or 30s because in the lower age groups you don't usually know what you're getting yourself into. But in the 40s and 50s you know. So you ask the right questions.

Better yet, don't ask the right questions! Just understand the person based on how he reacts or talks or walks. After that you'll know whether he is just "sponge worthy" or something more ;-)

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Monda

by Nazy Kaviani on

How wise you are! I knew you would say something that would really help me! "This is a dilemma which serves a much needed purpose in Vahid's life. He will figure it out in due time." That is good advice and encouragement for Vahid to look inside himself, too, as he is looking out. Thank you Monda!

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Assal

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you very much for your kind and compassionate comment. You sound like someone who has been lucky enough to have experienced true love. All the lost people I know got lost looking for that true love! It may have been staring them in the eyes, but they didn't see it, for they were lost. Here's hoping that everyone finds their compass of the heart! Thank you my friend.


Your genuine compassionate presence

by Monda on

and the psychological space that you offer your friend is the best you can do, I think. I gather from your writing that Vahid needs to be heard, his pain acknowledged in a non-judgmental way so he can look into his real feelings for this woman. He needs to check into his reality-testing and reality-orientation around a) the concept of love b) his feelings for this particular woman.

Why is Vahid in love with someone who does not appreciate him? We can't know.  But as Feshangi suggested there are so many nuerological and hormonal forces in play with each intense emotional experience that the only way for a person to make sense of a desperate situation is by understanding the mechanisms of that particular behavior.

Help him check into his patterns of "falling in love" and "being in love", by listening to his previous experiences with the topic.

Or better yet depending on his functionality despite this crisis, he may benefit from talking to a professional.  I realize that the idea of seeing a therapist does not sit well with some brothers (or sisters) but as a friendly suggestion, why not?

Your act of being there for him during this difficult time has surely been valuable to him. But from what I read, he needs to get to work on unreciprocated emotions from a different perspective. And that is hard to do with a good friend, even as good as you have been.

Nazy joon, in the mean time if he or anyone else is interested in  the neuroscience of "love", there is a book called "A General Theory of Love" by Drs. Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, Richard Lannon-  definitely worth reading.

My little advice to you, wise friend of Vahid's, is not to expect to solve this problem for him. This is a dilemma which serves a much needed purpose in Vahid's life. He will figure it out in due time. Just be there for him to talk to, as much as you can.


Open your eyes.

by Assal (not verified) on

Nazy Joonam,

You gave him the answer that only a true friend would give. You didn't tell him what he wanted to hear and given him the courage to face the cliff (and then fall over it eventually and blame it all on you--which, of course, was destined to happen).

If you ask me, maybe Vahid doesn't really feel love for this woman, not in any real sense. I mean, how can you love someone fully when that person doesn't even show you affection? How can you love someone who doesn't speak sweet words to you, hold your hand when you are in pain, laugh at your jokes, go with you to places they don't like but go anyway just because it's important to you. You can like the way someone looks, you can wish they were some dream version of themselves, you can see goodness in the way they treat others...but you cannot fully love them. Not until they show some respect or like or affection to you as well.

I don't know if this makes sense in words, but I just wish Vahid knew that all the time he is spending "making" someone notice and pay attention to him, he may be closing his eyes to someone out there who will have eyes for only him. Every painstaking hour he spends wishing this dream woman loved him, there is someone out there who will love him back and see him as her entire world. He just has to open his eyes to the possibilities. Then, it will happen and one day he'll think of his supposed "dream" girl and say, "Who?....What was I thinking wasting my time?"

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Feshangi

by Nazy Kaviani on

Wise and thoughtful as usual. Thank you. The way friendships go, you can't help but be ready to listen. I may not understand some of the nuances of relationships these days, but I am all too familiar with the pains of love, as I am with its joys, so I can offer a good shoulder to my friends in emergencies of the heart! Yes, time heals all wounds, but a part of me also mourns all the emotion, affection, and energy which is always lost in love wounds. I wished there was a happy ending for all lovers and that every frog turned into a beautiful loving prince and princess upon that magical kiss! Thanks again.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear IRANdokht

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you very much for your as usual thoughtful comment.
Is it true that "we always desire the ones we can't have until we are honest with ourselves and find the real reason for this type of affection?"

Why does it have to be so complicated?!! And what type of affection is this? O.K., O.K., it is head-over-heels, but what is the problem with that? Is it the pace of it? Is it happening too fast for the other person? If Vahid slows down and stops trying so hard, would his chances improve? As I was being tempted to tell him to "pay no attention to her, she will miss all the attention and come around," I was caught with such trepidations! What if she wouldn't? Would my friend forgive me for the "wrong advice" I gave him?!

I think he should cut his losses and move on. If she follows him, good for both of them. If she doesn't, what does he have to lose?

Thanks again.

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Souri

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you so very much for taking the time and trouble to leave me this long and passionate comment. I know it isn't very easy for you to type such a long text in English (your English is getting better and better everyday!), so I thank you for the effort which came from your heart.

It's so funny, because in another piece, I will tell the story of another of my friends who likes someone else but is showered by the attention of this man at work. I never thought to connect the stories of my two friends together, deriving any kind of constructive solution!

In fact nobody around me suffers from a lack of knowledge or deception by another. They all know what is going on and they are still at a loss as to what to do. These people are not married or in committed relationships, so they have minimal fears and as such don't lie as much as people who are trying to save something. Actually, this is the part that really confuses me, this new-age relationships of Iranians in diaspora, something I watch with wonder.

In so many ways they seem to have adopted social norms about relationships in the west, leaving some Middle Eastern hangups behind. Nobody worries about sex outside of marriage, virginity, their so-called reputation (aberoo), or things like namoos or gheirat which I don't even know how to begin to translate! Yet, it is hard for many of them to mingle and get involved with Americans. Are these Iranians looking for someone who speaks their language, or is there more to this search for a fellow countryman/woman?

And another question for you and others. Has sexual liberation helped Iranians in diaspora to find better soulmates? Or has it just procured easy access to sex? I get a little confused with the concept of sex-buddies, for example. While I appreciate the practicality of the approach, at the risk of sounding really old-fashioned, I get bewildered with the notion of everybody getting dressed and going on to their other lives after satisfying sex with a person, as though nothing happened! I know that it works for a lot of people, but I just don't understand it, so this is another area where I have to refrain from providing advice to my friends when their lives get messy!

I so understand and appreciate the doormat syndrome. I have seen too many people doing too much for someone who cannot and will not reciprocate their kindness and genrosity. If only they could all detach themselves from the situation and move on, things would get better for them, I'm sure. Everybody deserves to be loved in return for love and appreciated in return for appreciation and respected in return for respect. Matters of the heart, however, seem to supress such rational thinking.

Thank you again for your insightful reply. Please stay in the discussion and help some more!

Nazy Kaviani

Dear Rajab

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you very much for coming back and commenting. Heeh! I like the way you calculated my friend's chances! You are so right. There must be something there to work with, otherwise it's all for naught! I think my friend needs to have a talk with his heart! A talk with me wasn't terribly helpful I'm afraid.


Thank you

by Feshangi on

I am sorry that your friend Vahid is going through this pain. The feeling of love is very primal and deep rooted in the brain and the pain is very real.  Love causes one to have a tunnel vision. He goes through life focused only on the love he feels within himself, totally consumed in its highs and lows. If the feeling of love is also mingled with the feeling of rejection, as is the case with Vahid, then the pain he feels is multiplied. You are a good friend to invite in Vahid and to listen to him. All you can do at this point is to listen and let him try to empty himself of the burden of his secret and one-sided love. Time can only heal his wounds.  





Yes, the guy knows everything

by Souri on

To Irandokht,

That guy knows everything, maybe not in details (I haven't been told) but all I know is, the guy in the town knows that she loves
another one! But he says he will be waiting for her to decide !

that's why I said at the beginning : Vahid should first learn if the girl "A"
loves someone else or not. Most of the time the guys know that the girl
loves or sleep with someone else, but it seems that it make the girl
more "unattainable" in their eyes.

I forgot to say that my friend is in her 40's and is divorced and also has a child who lives with the father.


Good friends

by IRANdokht on

Nazy jan

A good friend is the one who cries with you and hurts when you're hurt... It's obvious how you're hurt to see him so helpless.

You also did something that he needs a friend to do: you questioned him, get him to tell you what is it about this woman he thinks he loves so much. Love of another only happens when we love ourselves first. Someone who's hurting you can't be deserving of your love. Some people need help to analyze their own behavior, their feelings and their motive.

You did the right thing and he will realize his true feelings once he comes to term with them. We always desire the ones we can't have until we are honest with ourselves and find the real reason for this type of affection. 

Souri khanoum

Your friend is not a very nice person. She's leading this man on and taking advantage of him all the while she knows she doesn't want a future with him. I am not sure if she told him that she's sleeping with someone else who's using her and mistreating her. He needs that wake-up call to know she's not the lovable girl he thinks she is.

It's women like her who give the rest a bad reputation.



Vahid's story

by Souri on

Is not complete. What I need to know is, does the girl in question love someone else? this is the most important fact that we miss here.

Other thing is, I would like you name your personages in the story, so it
will be easier to talk about them when we comment. Let call the girl who loves Vahid "B" and the one whom Vahid loves as "A"...

First thing first, Vahid should find out first, if "A" loves someone

Because, if this is the case, there's no hope for Vahid's love being
answered. I always give advices in many similar cases to my male and female
friends. They seek my advices, because they say I am "non judgemental , heeh!!" and also I am very detached and objective.

Many guys, especially the Iranian, love a girl who is not interested to them,
and they do everything for gaining the girl's love.

My advice to Vahid : Don't play a doormat ! If "A" loves someone else who is
not totally available for her, she will always use you to fulfill her needs for
affection, but she will continue loving the other one that she has not yet

The thing that make us staying in an unhealthy relationship, is always that
"hope", but this is a "non constrictive hope"

I have seen many cases of this. My friend is in love with a playboy who lives
in another state, he calls her very rarely and see her only when he goes to her town as a business trip. They spend one night together and the next day it's almost over. The guy leave and doesn't call or reply her call for weeks !

In the other hand, there is a good, nice and serious guy who loves her. She
is indeed very beautiful and well manner, she has many lovers. She always call that guy in the town, when she needs him to do something for her and the guy is there right away ! He does everything for her, from picking a friend at the airport, to help for doctor appointment, bringing her car for repair, finding a job for her....etc, etc. He wants to marry her, but she always says : What can I do? I know he is a very good man, but I don't love him !

Last time, she called me saying that : Ah, I have to go out with him again.
Every time he ask me to bring me out for dinner, it's like a nightmare for me
!!! I said, then why you go ? She replied : Because he always help me and I need his help. I'm single and can't do every thing by myself, so I have to keep him as a friend. Indeed, he is really very good as a simple friend, I want him to befriend with me !

I replied: But this is not what he is hoping for and you know it well.

She said : Yes, I know. But let him hope, this is his problem. I always told
him I can never love him, but he continue to be with me. Every time after dinner together, he hope that we can "have" it. Every time I say "no" , every time he get frustrated and he says so it would be better we end this relationship. And
every time I reply "as you want".....because I know anyway he will be back
before the week is over !!!

I told my friend : this is not healthy, for none of you. Let him go for good.
Give him back his freedom. As long as he is around, you can never know what are your real needs. It's like keeping a lottery ticket in your hand and wishing
that one day it will win, while you don't work enough to gain the money you

If you don't have this guy around, then you will be alone and miserable,
because the other one doesn't love you and you know it well. But you always fill your moment of loneliness with this guy who is in love with you. So you can
still survive in your "hope" for the other one. Having a "doormat" for you, make your life easier and leaves room for "dreaming"....while if you were really lonely, you would think better for yourself and your future than waiting for a "non existent love".

My advice to all the guys (and the girls) who love someone who loves another
one !! Is :

Let the object of your desire KNOW that you love them and you will do
everything for them WHEN they will come to you with love, and nothing less.

Of course we always cherish the "inconditional love" but the inconditionl
fits only the "impossible love" which we are sure that can never be fulfilled

But playing a doormat, never make you a good lover for your ideal person.
Even if they decide to live with you, the relashinship will never be an equal
and bilatheral love. They will always treat you as a doormat (for the worst) or
a friend (for the best)...and this is not what you wish for, isn't it ?

If you love someone, who doesn't love you (or they don't yet know) just avoid to become a "good friend" always available, a shoulder to cry on, a good ear to hear all their miseries, and a tool to resolve all their problem. Make them know that YOU CAN AND WILL BE ALL THIS FOR THEM, THE DAY THEY WILL BE YOURS.


The 50% syndrome

by Rajab (not verified) on

This is like that story where the commoner asked to marry the Princess and when his friend ask him you are no suitor for her, he responded well 50% of the problem is solved which is me liking her!

While 50% is a big chunk you need a bit more, at least 10% from the other side for a total of 60% between the 2 of you to have a chance. Otherwise you're just dreaming ;-)