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Thread: How men invest in potential partners versus friends

  1. #1
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    How men invest in potential partners versus friends

    So, this is my first post and I wasn't sure exactly where to put it. I'll try to keep this brief, as I'd prefer not to divulge too many details, but at the same time, I need some answers.

    So my guy friend and I have been friends for many years. We had a brief romantic period, ended because of external factors in my life, then worked through a period of time to becoming good friends again. We are very close. Always have been since we've known each other. We still hang out and do things together. We talk almost every day. He is very close to my kids, also.

    The thing is, I didn't want to end the romantic portion of our relationship. He knew that. And while I understood the necessity of ending it based on the circumstances, those external factors are now gone.

    Sometimes he says and does things that make me feel like he still has romantic feelings for me, but I am not sure if that is real or if I am seeing what I want to see.

    That being said, I'd like to know from some men, what kinds of things are you likely to do for a woman you are romantically interested in (assume you don't want to risk the friendship and that is why you haven't said anything this time) that differ from things you would do for a good female friend. For instance, how invested would you let yourself become in her life and the lives of her children if you were nothing more than a platonic friend? Especially if you knew she didn't want to end the relationship before and she had all but shouted at you that she was still interested. What things would you AVOID doing in order to prevent sending the wrong signal?

    Yes, I know I could be an adult and ask him. But right now, I am not prepared to risk losing our friendship by making things awkward if I am misreading the situation.

    I also would like to hear from women who have maybe been where I am...how did you discern his true feelings? did you risk it? Do you regret it?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Silver Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I think you're seeing what you want to see.

    If he were the serious type regarding reverting to his previous romantic feelings for you, he would tell you clearly without having to play guessing games on your part.

    Some men are only words. They'll say and do things without romantic commitment. Talk is cheap. Remember that.

    Since he's currently comfortable being friends and close to your kids, consider him a friend. Give it time. Give him time. If he eventually professes his sincere, romantic love for you, then deal with it then. For the time being, accept that he's only willing to be a friend and nothing more.

    What he would AVOID would be taking it to the next level with obvious romantic actions as a boyfriend would and going overboard with his actions to the point of going beyond friendship.

    I wouldn't have high hopes nor expectations from him. Go with the flow and keep it easy. If you expect and he won't deliver for you regarding a romantic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, you'll become sorely disappointed. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. Accept the reality of the current situation and see how he'll be in the coming weeks and months. He'll either only want to remain friends with you or develop romantic feelings for you over time. Be patient yet realistic, too.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    The first items I might look at would be his dating history and if he is currently seeing anyone. Obviously if he's attached this is off the table. You shouldn't be associating with each other in such a close friendship if either of you are in committed relationships or seeing other people. Most people don't react well to duplicity or duplicitous behaviours or actions and they don't bode well for either party.

    I am only speaking for myself (not other women) but I wouldn't be able to remain friends with a man like that if I had feelings for him. It would be in the way and I'm not one to live in a cycle of unfulfillment or keep re-living a state of disenchantment like a broken record or in a state of perpetual limbo. Friendship would not be enough for me and I would need more.

    Second, you should haven't to discern any man's feelings. That's my belief. He should be open and loving and available enough to make that known without you having to play Inspector Gadget or Sherlock Holmes. Just as he should love and honour you so should your energies be spent the same way.

    I'd encourage you to move on from any idea of dating this man or lose the friendship that's holding you back from living your life in a more fulfilled way. I don't feel that you should have to ask him whether he's interested in you at all. Simply stop playing this game completely and don't look back. If he's not treating you the way a man should treat a woman in a fulfilling and committed (safe and loving) relationship, this is not the right man for you, period. Stop looking. Stop sleuthing and you don't need to ask him any more questions.

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    So I started listing some things I would do or wouldn't do depending on the nature of my relationship with a hypothetical woman and for everything thing I listed, I could think of so many exceptions. So I simply hit Ctrl + A, then my backspace button.

    I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I will say that until you sit down and talk with the guy (or are willing to wait things out like Cherylyn suggests - not a bad suggestion considered you won't talk to him), you're never going to have any real answers.

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  6. #5
    Silver Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I will clarify that you should only remain friends IF and once again, IF you're comfortable at stopping at friendship only. If you expect more than friendship and if a romantic commitment will never be forthcoming, you should move on without him. I don't want to be misconstrued. That's what I meant regarding your patience and being realistic about this situation. Some people are fine with just friendship whereas others, it is not good enough and they want more. If you want more and he has no intentions of a romantic commitment whatsoever, then you're really wasting your time wishing for what will never be. That is what I meant!

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    I understand there are always exceptions. I'd still like to see your lists. :)

    Also, neither of us have dated since our romantic engagement together. And that was over a year ago. So we are not engaging in a super close/potentially inappropriate relationship outside of other relationships.

    I appreciate everyone's insight.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Being friends with an ex is tricky. How involved is he with your kids? Are either of you still married/living with someone?
    Originally Posted by cctnk
    We had a brief romantic period, ended because of external factors in my life, then worked through a period of time to becoming good friends again.
    how invested would you let yourself become in her life and the lives of her children if you were nothing more than a platonic friend?

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    Platinum Member WithLove's Avatar
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    I've been in your shoes. We were friends and fairly close (and getting closer) and I just couldn't decide if he liked me platonically or had a romantic interest. I think what finally proved that he was interested was, we were watching a TV show and were sitting next to each other, and I let me knee rest against his leg, which made him raise his arm and rest it on my knee. Platonic friends don't really touch like that.

    I think if he's making time to be around you, exclusively, with your kids, more than any other friendship, then he's probably interested.

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    I knew when he asked me if I wanted to get back together. We were exes, we met after several years for a platonic catch up dinner and sparks flew. He asked to see me the next week -again platonic. Nothing said but I was hoping! Our next time together wasn't for two weeks -he was busy plus I think busy thinking about how/whether to proceed. If he hadn't said anything that night I might have said something because of the circumstances -I knew he was leaving town to go back to where he was then living in about a month and I might have sort of broached the subject of "what are your intentions". But he beat me to the punch. And that was how I knew -not because of signs because of words backed up with actions. We've now been together again almost 14 years, married for 10.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Being friends with an ex is tricky. How involved is he with your kids? Are either of you still married/living with someone?
    Neither of us are married nor living with anyone. And haven't been for awhile now. He is very involved with my children. I hesitate to put details out into a publicly available forum, but I'll add this... I have many male friends. None of them interact with me the way he does, NOR do any of them take the same level of interest in my children that he does. And some of them have been my friends my entire life.

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