I just want to be friends

Hi. Recently I met this guy and we totally hit it off. We started texting and hanging out every now and then. I am totally relaxed and at ease in his company and the feeling is mutual. He has just finished an 18 year relationship where his wife has found someone else. I was cheated on by my boyfriend of 5 years a few years ago, and last year I got involved with a guy, who I caught with another woman. In the course of confronting him about it (yes not proud but it got violent)he hit me and gave me a black eye anda broken nose. In other words neither of us is ready for a relationship. About a month or so after we met he told me I had a beautiful smile, was sexy, funny etc and basically that he was Ďa faní. I said I wanted to be single at the moment to take care of my own shit, pointed out that he probably wasnít ready for anything else either, and said all I could offer was friendship. Ok cool. We continued on. We move fast, he becomes the person I want to tell good news to first, that type of thing. We talk about our worries. He keeps giving me compliments, itís fun, we are very open about everything, itís easy. I sort of wonder Ė is this ok, am I starting to feel different about him? He is a trained massage therapist. I love massages and Iím really broke so he gives me one(yeah I know not our best move)Two and a half hours of heaven on earth for me. The most amazing massage ever; hits all the right spots, completely professional Ė nothing rude, but quite intimate, emotional. I do start to feel differently about him. I tell him. He says itís the same for him. He comes over late one night. We are affectionate and it progresses. We donít have sex but we get it on. There is an emotional connection. Itís intense and awesome, but scary. The next day he starts to shut me out. The compliments stop, I say a few things like it was nice to fall asleep next to him bla bla bla, he gives me nothing. We both agree it canít happen again. I start asking him how he feels about it. Iím freaking out and feeling vulnerable. The more I ask the more he clams up. I get frustrated. I back off, try just acting normal about it. I donít know what I want, am really confused and he seems to be handling it sweet as. Keeps going on and on how we are better off as friends. It drives me nuts. We saw each other briefly a few days ago. I give up trying to act like everything is cool and tell him I feel hurt that he can just brush me off and go back to being friends so easily, even if itís the right thing to do. I say that I hate that it seems so easy for him. He says he means it to come across like that, that itís just the way he is. I lose my temper and say that sucks shit and that he has been open with me til now, point out it wasnít long ago that he was confessing his feelings towards me, and that it really hurts that since we took it further (than friendship)now he is so certain thatís not what he wants. Iím not saying I know what I want either, but his attitude is infuriating for me. He said itís not me, itís him – he is broken. I tell him it feels like the biggest rejection ever. He said it got too heavy too quick and that I have freaked him out a little (ouch).
Am I being a crazy person? How do I get passed this? How can we go back to just being mates? Iím not sure I can do that, but I donít want to lose him as a friend. Im’ really strugling with this! What do you think he feels?

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9 thoughts on “I just want to be friends

  1. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [Towards the end of your blurb you’ve sort of answered your own questions. You want to go back to things being the way they were (being friends) but you’re not sure you can do that. If you don’t think you can go back to being just friends then it is probably in your best interest to focus your energy on coming to terms that things may never be the way they were before and prepare for the possibility that you’re going to lose someone you believed you valued as a close friend…

    Here’s the thing though…from the explanation you provided about your “friendship” it didn’t sound like just a friendship really. It sounds like you were becoming more emotionally involved with him than you were willing to admit. Seems there were a number of mistakes made; by one or both of you:

    -your admittance of him being the first person you wanted to tell things to
    -the intimate 2 1/2 hour massage
    -you thoughts that your feelings have changed after this massage (what was so intimate about it?; remember he’s a training therapist so you could have very well received the same level of “intimacy” as any of his regular customers…unless something else happened making it more intimate than what should have…which would have resulted in him breaking some legal regulations if he is a licensed therapist)
    -the late night visit (doesn’t really matter if you didn’t have sex; if “getting it on” consisted of anything typical guy/girl friendships wouldn’t do then you both definitely stepped over that line.

    It’s fine that you two explored the feelings you thought were growing, but now it sounds like he’s discovered that it really was just heat-of-the-moment feelings and that’s made him a little uncomfortable for the time being.

    Are you sure you really believe it’s better for the two of you to be just friends? If so, then it wouldn’t hurt so much that he’s willing to go back to being just friends. But what is it that is really upsetting you? Are you really hurt by his actions now? Does your anger frustration come from your possible feelings for him, or are you more upset that you’re not getting the same level of attention from him as you were getting before?

    I agree with him. Things got too heavy, too quick…if all the two of you wanted was just a friendship.

    If you really want to be just friends again you need to take time to figure things out within yourself. You need space. He needs space. Being confrontational to him isn’t really conveying the message that you just want to be friends. But during this reflection time, be prepared that things may never go back to the way they were and you could end up being less one friend.

  2. kerplunkLYN says:

    [I think you handled this the way you should’ve! You met a man, felt a connection, and tried to keep it in the friendzone, but it didn’t work that way & now he’s being weird. Good for you for calling him on his shit! I’m so tired of men acting like women are crazy when really, you’re only reacting to his shitty behavior. Shutting you out was not the way to handle the situation if he wasn’t feeling the connection or didn’t want to go there for whatever reason. Personally, I’d ghost him for a while and see what happens. However, I doubt you will get to go back to things the way they were. But that’s life and love! You took a risk, and that is commendable. So – you get a big “you go girl” from me. ūüôā

    • C.Munro says:

      [It sounds to me like you want it both ways: You don’t want to commit to a relationship with him, but you want him to continue to behave as if he is attracted to you. I don’t think that’s fair to him. He has a right to protect his own feelings, and really, have you given any thought at all about his feelings other than wondering if he still likes YOU?

      I’m not saying he’s entirely blameless. He should have started distancing himself emotionally to a degree as soon as you told him you weren’t interested in a relationship. Instead, he kept feeding you compliments and free massages. Not a brilliant move, that.

      But I think you need to realize that he doesn’t really owe you his attraction. An attraction which you have at least verbally rejected. Let go. The friendship will never be the same as before, because it wasn’t purely friendship to begin with. It was a limbo between friendship and courtship. You may be able to establish a real friendship with this person, but only if you both agree to keep things emotionally and physically appropriate to friendship, and that means giving up your need for validation via his attraction to you.

    • C.Munro says:

      [Goddamnit. I meant that to be it’s own thread, not a reply. LV doesn’t play very well with mobile devices, and now I can’t delete the fucker and start over.

  3. C.Munro says:

    [It sounds to me like you want it both ways: You don’t want to commit to a relationship with him, but you want him to continue to behave as if he is attracted to you. I don’t think that’s fair to him. He has a right to protect his own feelings, and really, have you given any thought at all about his feelings other than wondering if he still likes YOU?

    I’m not saying he’s entirely blameless. He should have started distancing himself emotionally to a degree as soon as you told him you weren’t interested in a relationship. Instead, he kept feeding you compliments and free massages. Not a brilliant move, that.

    But I think you need to realize that he doesn’t really owe you his attraction. An attraction which you have at least verbally rejected. Let go. The friendship will never be the same as before, because it wasn’t purely friendship to begin with. It was a limbo between friendship and courtship. You may be able to establish a real friendship with this person, but only if you both agree to keep things emotionally and physically appropriate to friendship, and that means giving up your need for validation via his attraction to you.

  4. nightowl says:

    [I am the original poster. Not sure how this works as I’m new here, but just wanted to say – even if some things are hard to hear – it’s refreshing to get some insight from someone uninvolved with my life, so thanks. You all pretty much nailed everything. It was more than a friendship even if we tried to pretend that it wasn’t, he is acting wierd and different now we took it further, and oh yes I was looking to him for validation on many levels. I have however, formed stupid dumbass feelings for this guy. I just didn’t think it was a good time for either of us to start a new relationship. He has been away for the weekend and just sent me a text saying he had an epic time and what a great surprize he bumped into an ex girlfriend, they are going to go riding (motorbikes) tomorrow, will be awesome to shoot the shit with her….bla bla bla. I hate to say it but yes I am gutted, not just by facts alone but by the fact that he didn’t think for one minute this would be hurtful. The absolute insensity of this text has astounded me. When he left he said we will talk when he gets back. Should I even bother talking about it with him? We had admitted we had feelings for each other and we had taken it further than friendship – that was a week ago. How can he just disregard that so easily? It’s like a game to him – he got me to reciprocate the way he felt about me and then once I got there he just shutdown. It’s obvious to me that I can’t just be friends now. OK I think that answers my own question, yep just need to let this shit go.

    • C.Munro says:

      [I’m sorry that you’re hurting, and I agree that it totally sucks to do something intimate and then just cut things back abruptly the next day. I don’t know why he’s doing that. Could be guilt. Could be fear of deeper feelings developing. Could be a lot of things, and not all of them mean he’s a rotten person. But ultimately, it is still uncool.

      My advice is to try to let go of all expectations. If you do think a friendship is worth having, then simply be open to possibilities without worrying about what this or that “means”. If he’s willing to be a friend, let him, but don’t put yourself out there to the degree that he’s not meeting you in the middle. You sound like you’re becoming more confident in knowing what YOU want. So pursue that, and if it feels like anyone else in this life isn’t on the same page, adjust their importance to you accordingly.

      I wish you the best.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [Hey, thanks for the follow-up. I think you nailed it with this comment:

      “It’s like a game to him….”

      The more you explain the situation, the more I feel like this is exactly what it is to him. And the only way solution for that is to not play.

      Or play back…. ūüôā

  5. FNW says:

    [You need to decide whether you want to continue to have a “friends with benefits” relationship with this man, or find someone you can call your boyfriend. Because this man isn’t going to be your boyfriend. And would you really want him as that?

    I have found that if both are not on the same page, one gets frustrated, and things start to get “weird.” Things are weird for you.

    Personally, I find it impossible to be “friends with benefits” with a man with whom I am interested. I would not allow a man I was interested in, who was not interested in me and me alone, to touch me. Save the friends with benefits thing for someone with whom I like, but would not want to date.

    Clearly, you are interested in this man. You want more than just a friendship, or else you would not be bothered by him “sharing” too much information (about this other woman) with you. He is interested in playing the field. You’re in his field, but he’s also looking to expand his field. You’re obviously not okay with that, so no, I would not continue the friendship with him. No need for a “break up”, since you aren’t together. Just be busy. Too busy for him.

    In the future, I think I would take things slower. You mention that you both moved fast. Next time you meet someone, slow it down. You are in charge of setting the pace. Find outside interests to keep you busy, so you do not have time to obsess about what he said, what you said, what no one said, etc. And so that you are not his beck and call girl, so to speak. As old fashioned as this might sound to you, men enjoy the chase. When they find a woman they feel is worth it. Be worth it.

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