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Lost A Friend


VacuumFlux
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Met a guy at school a few years ago, we had some similar interests and hung out some. He was... a very different personality than me, strong ideas of gender roles, but I figured we're both people, we can work this out. I thought I had explained to him, multiple times, that I was not interested in dating him. I thought we were just friends, that the weirdness between us was because he wasn't used to having female friends and had a way overblown idea of the differences between the sexes.

 

We hadn't hung out much lately. I was busy and wasn't up to dealing with the social complexities of hanging out with people that confuse me. But I was trying to keep in touch through e-mail.

 

The most recent e-mail, he asked if I wanted to do something for Valentine's day. I rolled my eyes, thinking that we'd been over this and it was really silly of him to ask, and that he was just thinking he was being a nice guy. So I told him about the dance I'd gone to with a girl I like. He wrote back, giving me well wishes for the rest of my life and said goodbye. Said he thought he should tell me that if he wasn't going to get what he's been hoping for all this time, he should at least explain himself before he stops talking to me.

 

So... we were ever really friends in his eyes? Or was I just a potential date the whole time?

 

I'm a little angry, but mostly sad. And really confused as to why my worth as a human being in negligible compared to my worth as a potential date.

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I think maybe he is just moving on, chances are he had a crush on you, maybe the girlfriend you liked was key in that your interests (correct me if I misread) are not with guys.

 

The stopping talking to you is perhaps his way of simply moving on.

 

FWIW

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Accepting someone as just a friend when you know you'll always have feelings for that person is hard. If his feelings were so strong they were making him uncomfortable to not have what he wanted, then it's unhealthy and not really honest to either of you. He probably just needed to move on.

 

 

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I agree with flockoff. I don't really have any girls that are friends but there was this one girl who I was friends with and she was an amazing girl. We just clicked as friends and we got along really well. We had a lot in common, the humor, taste in movies and books and a pretty similar view of the world. She was really different to most girls I've met. I got along with her and it didn't take my whole being to try to be "normal", with her it came naturally. What I mean is that normally around girls (especially ones I like) I have trouble talking to them and conversing and if I am really attracted to them then I start sweating and can't breathe et cetera. I'm really bad :)

 

I was really into her but unfortunately she was engaged (and now married). It started causing me real emotional havoc as I wanted to be with her but I knew I could not. My emotional attachment got to the point where seeing her became the best part of my week. Anyways, she never knew anything of my feelings and I would feel mortified if she did find out. I hid it all along and then eventually when I realized the toll it was taking on my health I just had to cut her off cold turkey. I stopped talking to her completely. If she talked with me, I would be borderline rude to just end the conversation and move on. I think she was confused for many months but she eventually understood that I was pushing her away and she left me alone. I wish I could just be friends with her but it's too painful to "just be friends".

 

I'm not sure if it is the same scenario as this guy but it seems a bit like it. At least he was upfront with you, I couldn't even do that.

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I'm in agreement with the rest of the guys who have posted so far. I knew a guy who had such a crush on a girl that he caused problems for the couple after she had gotten married. My hunch is that he found you to be incredibly attractive and is probably grieving the loss worse than you are. I'm not trying to make you feel bad - I'm just coming at this from a guy's perspective.

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Sounds like he was crazy for ya! Sometimes, it is so hard to be friends with the opposite sex. Good friendship, so many times can lead to real love. I think it is very hard to put the wall up. Some people can do it and others can't. Sounds like he couldn't. You must be a worthwhile, loveable person! He is probably very sad.

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This seems like a good move on his part. Sounds like he never wanted to be friends in the first place -- which is totally normal and acceptable behavior, really. Knowing who is hoping for more and who is looking for friendship is difficult, which is why its often easier to have and maintain friendships with the same sex. I'm not quite sure how that translates to someone who is homo- or bi-sexual... but it's still a general truism.

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I will be more blunt than the rest of the posters.

 

You wanted a relationship with this guy under your terms. He didn't; he wanted a relationship with you under his terms. Since you two couldn't agree, he did the sensible thing, ended the attempt at a relationship, and went on with his life. What is there to be angry about? That you couldn't force him to stay in a type of relationship that was unacceptable to him?

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Huh. I'd been trying to tell myself that this guy just had an abnormally strong urge to find a mate, and that since his priorities were different than mine, this was a rational decision for him to make. It seems I was wrong about the "abnormal" part.

 

It's really confusing for me because I've always had more male friends than female; they make more sense to me, I feel a slightly stronger sense of belonging with people of the opposite sex than I do with my own (until they hit on me, then I feel like an "other" again). I'm certainly not asexual, but I really don't have much of a gender identity. People are people, and the differences only matter when it comes to sexual acts.

 

I'd known from fairly early on in our friendship that he doesn't view the world this way. We talked about it a lot. He viewed friendship differently too; he was used to having a very small group of close friends that he spends all his time with; I am used to having a larger group of friends, with the subset of them that I am closest to shifting over time. Sometimes he'd get mad at me for not giving him enough attention because he thought he was putting so much work into the relationship and I was being a bad friend. I tried to get him to hang out with groups of my friends, so that I could give him time and hang out with other people too, but he didn't like my friends and wanted me to himself. Some of this really felt like... creepy abuse boyfriend demands, and I tried to explain to him that I'm really not that social of a person and I couldn't keep spending that much time with him and destroying the rest of my life. (I'm not exaggerating about the "destroying the rest of my life" thing; I'm highly empathetic and have anxiety issues, and when I spend too much time around people with stronger personalities than me I forget who I am and get really depressed. The only solution to that I've found so far is to enforce limits on how much time I spend with other people and make sure I get a few nights every week to spend with just myself. Basically, I had to learn to have a sense of self and learn to say no. He first met me when I hadn't learned either.)

 

He knew that I was bi. He actually had one of the best reactions to it of the guys I've told. Most guys I tell that hear "threesome!" and get more interested. He viewed my interest in women as truly equal to my interest in men, and said that he wasn't sure he'd like dating someone bi because not only would he have to feel jealous about other guys, he'd have to feel jealous about other women too.

 

I guess... I should have noticed earlier that he was still interested in me and made it even more clear that it was never going to happen. Not my type at all. I thought he knew that. This has happened twice before, where guys think they're asking for a date and I think they're asking for friendship (though they were both WAY too old for me and there was other weirdness involved), but those I realized later I'd sorta known what was going on but didn't want to believe it. This time I honestly didn't think it was still an issue.

 

I'm not a very romantic person. I do feel lonely and would like a partner, but even with the dating I'm doing now I can feel that I'm a bit... standoffish? Giving that much of your emotions to someone else is something that I only do with careful thought and an explicit act of will. Most other people seem much more casual about it. I feel threatened when people push to hard to get information about my emotions; I used to share them more freely and most of the time people just used the information to hurt me (usually on accident, but it still hurt). This guy wanted me to share more of me with him, but... after some of the fights we'd had, I didn't trust him with that sort of info. I felt insulted that he suggested I wasn't a good friend because I wasn't more open with him. I tried to bring up small bits of data at a time, less danger that way, see what sort of reaction I'd get, see if the reaction made me feel safe giving up anything more. That's what I was trying to do when I told him I'd gone on a date with someone female. To see if he was really ok with me being bi or not, to see if he'd respect me any less. I didn't expect the reaction I got at all.

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I will be more blunt than the rest of the posters.

 

You wanted a relationship with this guy under your terms. He didn't; he wanted a relationship with you under his terms. Since you two couldn't agree, he did the sensible thing, ended the attempt at a relationship, and went on with his life. What is there to be angry about? That you couldn't force him to stay in a type of relationship that was unacceptable to him?

 

He initiated the friendship, then demanded more from me than I was willing to give. We talked about it, didn't really understand each other, but tried to work something out. He never ended the relationship over any of that.

 

The angry I feel is that I feel like... the other fights we'd had were a whole lot more important than this. That he'd be willing to work through some major personality differences, that he still wanted to spend time with me and thought I was valuable to him despite all of that. But the one thing he can't deal with is that I'm not romantically/sexually attracted to him. It makes me feel like my worth as a human being in negligible compared to my value as a vagina. (On the other hand, I don't feel strong attraction to people much, so I don't understand, and I'm trying to accept that this is probably just honest variation in what humans feel, not that he's that sexist.)

 

He never said "I wish you'd spend more time with me because I'm attracted to you." He said "you should be spending more time with me because that's what real friends are supposed to do." I feel like he was lying to me about his motives. He wanted me to feel guilty so I'd spend more time with him, then turned around and told me he wanted me to feel safe with him so I could be open and honest and really be myself. (Much of this also came at a bad time for me, with lots of anxiety/self esteem issues that I've sense gotten better with by getting a shrink, so the guilt trips were... really bad for me. So that was a combination of my problems and his.)

 

Mostly I think the anger is a phase of grief, though. And somewhat a fear reaction expressing as anger (afraid that this might happen again with someone else, and that I'm too much of a freak to recognize it happening again and won't know to handle it differently).

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So... we were ever really friends in his eyes? Or was I just a potential date the whole time?

 

You were a potential date the whole time.

 

I'm a little angry, but mostly sad. And really confused as to why my worth as a human being in negligible compared to my worth as a potential date.

 

It has nothing to do with your worth as a human being. Think of it this way - if there were someone you were really, really attracted to, and they made it clear they weren't interested, would you be comfortable spending time around that person?

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He never said "I wish you'd spend more time with me because I'm attracted to you." He said "you should be spending more time with me because that's what real friends are supposed to do." I feel like he was lying to me about his motives.

 

I'm sure he was.

 

It sounds like this guy is a big jerk, but you're angry at him for the wrong reasons. You never had a real friendship - he was interested in something romantic, and pretended he wanted friendship to try to reach that point. It's a jerk thing to do, and is also counterproductive.

 

Instead of mourning the loss of a friendship that never existed, be thankful you finally rid yourself of this jerk.

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"But the one thing he can't deal with is that I'm not romantically/sexually attracted to him. It makes me feel like my worth as a human being in negligible compared to my value as a vagina."

 

 

Whoa.

 

If you think a romantic relationship is nothing more than "insert part A into part B", then you have a distorted view of a romantic relationship and personal intimacy amongst couples.

 

And as far as your "worth as a human being is negligible compared to my value as a vagina", those are thoughts coming out of your head, not his. Maybe you should speak to a counselor.

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Classic female. Over-analyzing a guy's motives while mourning the loss of his company and assuming it was all about sex. People come and go in and out of our lives, even the ones we care about but aren't interested in sexually. Try not to dwell on it. It happens all the time and it doesn't mean men only think you're good for one thing.

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Classic female. Over-analyzing a guy's motives while mourning the loss of his company and assuming it was all about sex. People come and go in and out of our lives, even the ones we care about but aren't interested in sexually. Try not to dwell on it. It happens all the time and it doesn't mean men only think you're good for one thing.

 

I'm sure he wanted it to be a romantic relationship, not just sexual. But he still valued me as... as an "other" to be attracted to, not as a fellow human to be attracted to. He wanted romance within gender roles that I don't fit, and assumed that I was supposed to fit his expectations of me just because of my anatomy. Like, he felt uncomfortable/guilty that he's male and I'm female but I'm more into cars than he is.

 

I've had friendships come and go before as natural changes in life, but I've never had someone choose to cut off contact.

 

I want to analyzing his motives because I don't like the angry and defensive I'm feeling. If I can see why he feels the way he does, and not see it as a threat or insult, even if I can't fully empathise, I think it'll be easier to accept and quit dwelling on it. Maybe figuring him out now will help me deal more maturely with other people in the future and not have to feel this way again. Or more likely, people just come in more variety than I will ever understand and something else will catch me by surprise.

 

 

 

Anyways, thanks for all the variety of replies from everyone. I put this in the rants section because I want to vent about some strong emotions, not because it was meant as an angry rant. This guy and I didn't have any mutual friends, so I've been needing impartial views of all of this to see if my reactions are crazy or not.

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Vacuum, could it possible be that you are feeling the hurt of 'rejection'? When someone cuts us out of there lives (whether we want then to or not),

rejection would be the first thing that I would feel - and this certainly 'hurts', and what hurts can make us really angry. Does that make any sense?

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"But he still valued me as... as an "other" to be attracted to, not as a fellow human to be attracted to. He wanted romance within gender roles that I don't fit, and assumed that I was supposed to fit his expectations of me just because of my anatomy. Like, he felt uncomfortable/guilty that he's male and I'm female but I'm more into cars than he is."

 

This is getting repetitive. One final time:

 

He wanted a romantic relationship, you didn't. YOU assumed that he would continue a friendship that fit YOUR expectations. Once he became convinced that you didn't want him romantically, he decided to move on with life and see what else is out there that will match his needs. It doesn't make him mean, creepy, abusive, or lying. If he had kept pursuing you romantically that might have been creepy; instead, he sent you a note telling you how he felt and what he was going to do about it. You can't force him into a friendship relationship on your terms any more than he could force you into a romance on his terms.

 

Move on - he has.

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Not every guy who hides his true feelings while playing 'the friend' is a manipulative jerk. Many are just too chicken to express their feelings up front early on. My friend once told me about the 'two week rule': if you start hanging out with a certain girl on a regular basis, and you dig her in that way, you've got two weeks before you're in the Friend Zone and it's too late. Some of these guys, out of naivete or fear, don't pull the trigger in time. They just pent it up and fret and toss and turn at night until they can't stand it any longer, and 6 months or a couple of years later they'll confess the truth.

 

Some are indeed manipulative jerks, stroking the 'friend' thing until they feel the time is ripe to make a move. Of course, this is by no means any kind of player trick, because it virtually never fucking works. Others are just too trigger shy. They're scared, they ain't got the balls (when it comes to this sort of thing), and they'd be horrified if they were to fully realize how much of a douchebag move it'd be perceived as.

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Margee: yeah, that makes sense. I felt sad at first, it was... about 24 hours before I started feeling angry.

 

VomitComet: that really sounds right. It's sorta the same point george carlin was making, but explaining all the messy emotional stuff that went into it that I've been having a hard time comprehending. (Sorry for being so dense, but this conversation really has helped.)

 

And I think there was also me trying to figure out who was to blame for what, assuming that if someone had their feelings hurt (which was both of us, many times) then one of the people involved was in the wrong. But no, life is just messy and shit happens. I don't have to feel guilty or victimized.

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Classic female. Over-analyzing a guy's motives while mourning the loss of his company and assuming it was all about sex.

 

Yes.

Damn women. Thinking about the loss of a relationship. Trying to understand what happened and learn from it. Caring about people. Caring about herself.

 

GEEZ.

 

:Hmm:

:moon:

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"But he still valued me as... as an "other" to be attracted to, not as a fellow human to be attracted to. He wanted romance within gender roles that I don't fit, and assumed that I was supposed to fit his expectations of me just because of my anatomy. Like, he felt uncomfortable/guilty that he's male and I'm female but I'm more into cars than he is."

 

This is getting repetitive. One final time:

 

He wanted a romantic relationship, you didn't. YOU assumed that he would continue a friendship that fit YOUR expectations. Once he became convinced that you didn't want him romantically, he decided to move on with life and see what else is out there that will match his needs. It doesn't make him mean, creepy, abusive, or lying. If he had kept pursuing you romantically that might have been creepy; instead, he sent you a note telling you how he felt and what he was going to do about it. You can't force him into a friendship relationship on your terms any more than he could force you into a romance on his terms.

 

Move on - he has.

 

Dude. This is her thread. She came here to work out her feelings. If you don't care...go read another post. She hasn't said anything wrong here. Just because you are annoyed, doesn't mean that she is wrong.

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(Sorry for being so dense, but this conversation really has helped.)

 

 

 

You are not dense.

 

Seriously.

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He wanted a romantic relationship, you didn't. YOU assumed that he would continue a friendship that fit YOUR expectations. Once he became convinced that you didn't want him romantically, he decided to move on with life and see what else is out there that will match his needs. It doesn't make him mean, creepy, abusive, or lying. If he had kept pursuing you romantically that might have been creepy; instead, he sent you a note telling you how he felt and what he was going to do about it. You can't force him into a friendship relationship on your terms any more than he could force you into a romance on his terms.

 

 

You're missing an important piece of her story: she told him she wasn't interested in a romantic relationship, he said OK we can still be platonic friends, even though he didn't want to be platonic friends, he wanted a romantic relationship. That's dishonest on his part, and manipulative.

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I guess... I should have noticed earlier that he was still interested in me and made it even more clear that it was never going to happen.

 

Well, he did tell you wasn't interested in a romantic relationship anymore. You took him at his word. Adults should be honest and say what they mean. It's not your responsibility to discern that he means Y when he says X. And if you told him you weren't interested, then he should have taken you at your word. He didn't. He was probably engaged in wishful thinking, and let himself believe you might possibly mean Y even though you've said X. I've done that myself, and when I got hurt because of it I had nobody to blame but myself.

 

The fact that this guy was romantically attracted to you and not interested in a platonic friendship is not what makes him a jerk. That part is completely normal and understandable. The part that makes him a jerk was that he wasn't honest with you about what he felt, and also that he tried to manipulate you into spending more time with him.

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