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The post is the third one from here https://www.zhihu.com/question/35679513

Here's the part I don't quite understand:

其实这个故事一点也不美好,

说白了也是自己一厢情愿的事儿,现在自己走出来了就好一点了吧, 原来挺有耐心的,想坚持一下, 后来学姐跟我说,你不能活在她的阴影里啊, 所以我觉得我得走出来。

And here's my attempt at translating it:

Actually this isn't a nice story at all.

Speaking frankly, ...(don't understand)... Originally I was very patient, and wanted to persevere, but then an elder schoolmate said to me "You can't live in her shadow", so ...(don't understand)...

Part of the problem is obviously that I don't know what 走出来 means. But more fundamentally, I often find that when I'm reading Chinese text I find it very hard to keep track of who the subject is and the time frames of each verb. Frequently I will be able to understand every character and every individual word but still be very confused about what the actual narrative is. Has anyone else got this problem? How do I get past this stage?

(for reference, I am somewhere between HSK5-6 level).

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一厢情愿 means 'wishful thinking' or 'one sided feeling' It is a common idiom. Contrary to '两情相悦' (both share the same feeling of love)

It is hard to understand what the meaning of 走出来 (walk out) when read it out of context

走出来 in this context means 'get out of (this relationship)', We know that because this guy was asking "恋爱两个月女友连手也不让牵,该不该继续下去?" (after two months of romantic dating, my girlfriend still doesn't let me hold her hand, should I continue or not?)

He was obvious talking about should or shouldn't he stay in this so call romance

I often find that when I'm reading Chinese text I find it very hard to keep track of who the subject is and the time frames of each verb

Chinese writing often omit subject when who or what is the subject is clearly implied in the context, therefore, you must read enough context to keep track of who the subject is. For example, if you just get one sentence "同不同意?" you will not know who is being asked, but if you know it is from a conversation between two friends, the subject would clearly be the speaker's friend.

Chinese verbs do not use tenses, therefore you have to have enough context to tell what tense a verb is in. See How do you specify past tense for 是? for reference

Note:

美好的故事 means beautiful story

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    Agree with the most part except for 走出来 means "get over" (the traumatizing experience) instead of "get out of" (the relationship). – NS.X. Apr 11 '18 at 4:17
  • The man said: "想坚持一下, 后来学姐跟我说,你不能活在她的阴影里啊, 所以我觉得我得走出来。" Since he said he still want to endure it for a while (坚持一下) which mean he hasn't made the decision to give up on this romance. And then his 学姐 told him that he couldn't go on living under that girl's shadow. So he decided he need to 'get out' from this unhealthy relationship. – Tang Ho Apr 11 '18 at 5:45
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You've got most of that right, but:

“美好” is not for describing "故事"(the story), instead, it's describing the things happened in "the story". So "Actually this isn't a BEAUTIFUL story at all." would be more accurate.

"走出来" means "walk away(from the incident/shadow)".

"原来" means "back then" in this sentence.(But "原来" do have the meaning of "originally" btw, just not in this case.)

"一厢情愿" means wishful thinking.

So everything translate to "Frankly speaking, everything is just all in my mind, I got better now since I walked away from the shadow of it. I was patient back then, tried to hang in there(since she thought things would work out), but an elder schoolmate said to me "You can't live in her shadow", so I thought I should walk away."

I often find that when I'm reading Chinese text I find it very hard to keep track of who the subject is and the time frames of each verb

As a Chinese, I feel the same way BECAUSE this passage is so casual that normal people won't even speak that way!

Zhihu is just not a right place for studying Chinese, people use tons of slang and even dirty words in their made-up stories just to grab attention, or try to make a point. Highly recommend you get back to Zhihu only when you "get past this stage".

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其实这个故事一点也不美好,
Really, this story is not nice at all,
说白了也是自己一厢情愿的事儿,
To tell the truth, it is a story about my own wishful thinking
现在自己走出来了就好一点了吧,
if I leave her now things may be a bit better,
原来挺有耐心的,
in the beginning I was very patient,
想坚持一下,
I wanted to persevere, keep trying,
后来学姐跟我说,
(but) later another older female student told me,
你不能活在她的阴影里啊,
"You can't live in her shadow."
所以我觉得我得走出来。
so I think I should leave her.

'If you leave me now', Chicago

"If you leave me now, you'll take away the biggest part of me
Uh uh uh uh no baby please don't go""

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