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Thread: Not sure how to convince a buddy of mine to walk away

  1. #1
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    Not sure how to convince a buddy of mine to walk away

    Ok, so basically a friend of mine has had this female friend for years and has been infatuated with her for as long as I can remember. She dated some other guy for about a year and a half but then broke up and his feelings for her started to come back - they met up, she ended up kissing him a few times but then backtracked over it and told him it wasn't what she wanted. He still held on to hope though, but then got an absolute knife in the heart when he found out that his flatmate (and best friend) had been seeing her behind his back, having introduced them. His mate knew all about his feelings for her, and the girl basically led him on and used him for attention/affection, despite claiming to be a friend.

    So I've basically told him he needs to cut contact with this girl completely, it's getting him down to the point where he's seriously depressed and barely able to function, he's in bits over it. For me he will never get past his feelings for her and being friends while she's with this guy is going to eat him up inside, but he's adamant he wants to stay friends with her, but again I feel this is out of some desperate hope she'll change her mind. The flatmate he's furious at and won't even speak to, but for some reason he's like a little lapdog and is going to go back to the same dynamic with this girl who clearly (in my opinion) has no respect whatsoever for his feelings. She slept with this flatmate the same night he found out even though she knew he was in a horrible place mentally, she's just been entirely selfish. I get you can't control your feelings for someone but there are ways you treat your friends and you certainly don't lead them on and then a week later bang their flatmate, not if you're a good friend.

    Basically I was wondering if anyone on here had experience of a similar situation, and if so what convinced you to finally cut contact/how were you able to convince someone to do that? I know the decision is up to him ultimately, but I know his mental health is suffering horrifically from all of it (he can't focus on anything else) and I feel powerless to help him. She's absolutely a toxic influence on his life and has always just used him when she sees fit (wasn't interested at all when she had a boyfriend) because she knows how he feels about her and imo it boosts her ego and gives her a sense of power.

    He's also said some pretty worrying things about how bad he feels about life and how her coming up to see him was pretty much all he had to look forward to, so I'm honestly really worried about him. All of this has hit him like a bomb.

  2. #2
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    You walk away from people who don't respect you. That has generally been how I roll. Why surround yourself with people who don't care about you?

    As for "her coming up to see him was pretty much all he had to look forward to". Would he be willing to go to counselling / therapy if he isn't already? I highly recommend this. If he is unable to afford this at the moment, I know that you can talk to a counsellor for free at a church. There are also free prevention hotlines (for suicide, depression, anxiety, etc). Which country does he live in? Maybe he would like to talk to us here at enotalone?

    That, walking away from her is the healthiest choice for him, is something he must figure out on his own. Often you can offer someone a solution, but they might not act on it until they discover that same solution on their own. You can guide him in that quest, steer him in the right direction, so keep reaching out to him.

    Meanwhile, what he most likely needs is hope.

    I don't know who said this (it's apparently a Chinese proverb), but this quote is pretty powerful in my view:
    As long as we have hope, we have direction, the energy to move, and the map to move by. We have a hundred alternatives, a thousand paths and an infinity of dreams. Hopeful, we are halfway to where we want to go; hopeless, we are lost forever.

    He is blessed to have you as a friend! Wishing you and your friend the very best!

  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by greendots
    You walk away from people who don't respect you. That has generally been how I roll. Why surround yourself with people who don't care about you?

    As for "her coming up to see him was pretty much all he had to look forward to". Would he be willing to go to counselling / therapy if he isn't already? I highly recommend this. If he is unable to afford this at the moment, I know that you can talk to a counsellor for free at a church. There are also free prevention hotlines (for suicide, depression, anxiety, etc). Which country does he live in? Maybe he would like to talk to us here at enotalone?

    That, walking away from her is the healthiest choice for him, is something he must figure out on his own. Often you can offer someone a solution, but they might not act on it until they discover that same solution on their own. You can guide him in that quest, steer him in the right direction, so keep reaching out to him.

    Meanwhile, what he most likely needs is hope.

    I don't know who said it, but this quote is pretty powerful in my view:



    He is blessed to have you as a friend! Wishing you and your friend the very best!

    I agree. She blatantly has zero respect for him as a person (or she would never have led him on & then gone behind his back in a way she knew would hurt him) and is not a person he needs in his life.

    He's going home to his parents, which I think is a good idea, he needs to get out of that flat and be surrounded by people who love him. I think therapy is a good idea as he's basically been a bit lost/lonely in the city and this girl coming up gave him relief from that, so for that to be taken from him so harshly and suddenly has really hit him hard, especially since it's also robbed him of a best friend (although he's better off long term I think, as both are not real friends if they'd go down this route).

    He's in the U.K and isn't religious so getting him to go to a church I think would be pretty hard! I think he'd feel bad/embarrassed if he knew I'd asked about him on here, but I really was just feeling very helpless as to how to get him out of this hole and needed advice. Quite a few of ours friends in real life are mutuals with both so don't want to get involved, so it's been hard getting that neutral perspective on the issue. I wasn't sure if I was overreacting/being overly judgemental at first, but really the more I think about it the more I view it as a really scummy thing for both his friends to have done, the way they did it was so sly and uncaring.

    I agree with that, really I wish I could get him to walk away but I think he needs to take baby steps and gradually realise she's not good for him. He's working a bit of a crap job at the moment and I think he placed his hopes for happiness on her, hence why this is all such a huge blow. Which is why I can't believe how callous this girl has been, obviously if she doesn't have feelings for him then that's 100% fair, but don't lead him on knowing he feels that way and then backstab him in the worst way possible! Especially since she's aware of his mental state/issues in the past with depression.

    That's a great quote and I totally agree with it, he needs something to give him hope though. Right now I think his self esteem is rock bottom and he's just feeling so hurt and betrayed. I keep trying to put myself in his shoes and imagine how I'd feel and it honestly makes me feel sick, because it's such a ty thing for both your best friends to do. The worst bit is that he's such a genuine, lovely guy and he's still trying to be like 'well if they're both happy I guess it's for the best' but it's making him so miserable and I can tell that.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    but I know his mental health is suffering horrifically from all of it (he can't focus on anything else) and I feel powerless to help him.
    It's not your job to help him. It would be good of you to support him when he gets the therapy he needs to get over his crush on her though.

    Suggest he get himself into a good therapist and then wash you hands of trying to caretake him out of his addiction to her. By always being there for him you are basically enabling him NOT to have to get the therapy he clearly needs.

    She had told him that being with him is not what she wants and basically told him that kissing him was a mistake. That doesn't make her an evil doer, it just makes her human so demonizing her just keeps him from seeing where he needs professional help.

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  6. #5
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    I'm sure you can understand how he feels, having been in a situation where you held onto hope for a long time despite knowing it was futile.

    Can you give him some empathy? Maybe tell him you understand, you can relate, and that eventually you realized letting go was the best thing for you? He might see things differently if he feels like you've been through it too and came out the other side doing better.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    It's not your job to help him. It would be good of you to support him when he gets the therapy he needs to get over his crush on her though.

    Suggest he get himself into a good therapist and then wash you hands of trying to caretake him out of his addiction to her. By always being there for him you are basically enabling him NOT to have to get the therapy he clearly needs.

    She had told him that being with him is not what she wants and basically told him that kissing him was a mistake. That doesn't make her an evil doer, it just makes her human so demonizing her just keeps him from seeing where he needs professional help.
    I agree. Stop enabling this. Tell him you do not want the talk about it anymore. The dude needs professional help!

    She did nothing wrong. She was honest. Your friend is the problem. He has some sick obsession.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    She had told him that being with him is not what she wants and basically told him that kissing him was a mistake. That doesn't make her an evil doer, it just makes her human so demonizing her just keeps him from seeing where he needs professional help.
    This is an important point. This woman is...just a person. Not a sorceress who cast a spell on your friend. Her sins, in the scheme of things—well, they are not even sins. She kissed him and then told him she wasn't on the page for more kissing, for that dynamic, those feelings. That is the opposite of leading someone on; it's being an adult. She ended up dating his flat-mate. Awkward, but happens. More adult stuff. Life.

    None of this would be nearly so dramatic and traumatic if your friend was healthier, mentally. You know this, so make that the point of your concern, not building this woman up into a she-devil with the same fervor he builds her up into a goddess. That's basically you catching a contact high of his sickness, the very thing you're concerned about.

    Your friend needs help that you can't provide, and sometimes the friendliest thing we can do to friends is to tell them that, clearly. "I am here, I love you, but I am worried about you and I think therapy would really help you understand these feelings..." And so on.

    Because the woman is not the issue, at all, but a symptom of an issue. Were he this lost after breaking up with someone he'd been with for a decade, it would be troublesome, you know?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    It’s pretty great that he has a friend that cares so much about his wellbeing, however I agree with others that you need to let go of control and let this run its course. Of course if his behaviour really starts to worry you (he gets suicidal or turns to substances) then by all means seek help for him but at the end of the day he has to want the help or nothing will change.

    In the meantime he is just broken hearted by a crush and while it’s incredibly painful we’ve all been there and come out the other side... have some faith that he will too.

  10. #9
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    jeremiahsain, Glad that he is going home to his parents to be surrounded by people who love him!

    I truly get that it's tough when you are really into someone and they don't feel the same way about you. It's beyond blah. Having said that, like you, I'm concerned that he's digging a very deep hole for himself. And whilst it's really awesome that you are there to support him through it, he does need the right tools to climb out of that hole. Ideally a competent professional therapist or counsellor will be able to determine exactly what tools he needs.

    Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with lifelines in the UK. There sure must be some numbers he can contact in times of need and desperation.

    Hope is knowing that at the end of the day, irrespective of how much rubbish hits the fan, in the long-term it's all going to be okay. Honestly, he should be proud to be "such a genuine, lovely guy" as you described him. Being genuine is a sign of great strength, especially in a society like ours where you are surrounded by values such as prominence and pretences. Additionally, he isn't going through this alone. He's got support from you and his family!
    Last edited by greendots; 06-05-2019 at 03:17 AM.

  11. #10
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    I agree with the others.

    This girl is not a bad personality at all. She likely does appreciate his friendship and yes at times let that friendship boundary down , however it wasn’t some selfish tactic on her part. Yes she kissed him but then was very honest about not having further feelings for him and stopped it almost as soon as it started.

    Did she overstep the mark or did he?
    Did she selfishly take his attention or did he act on her vulnerability after a recent break up?

    Can you really blame her for thinking that he was a platonic friend when he pretended to be for a year and a half while she was with another? And can you blame her for not knowing he was “heartbroken”?

    She likely is a great girl, he knows that and that’s why he is interested in her.
    Unfortunately she doesn’t have the same level of interest back.
    But you telling him she’s a bad person , no respect for him etc etc is only going to make matters worse. Because that’s not exactly the truth and he knows it.

    This is his issue not hers.
    He clearly is unable to be friends with her , he needs to remove himself from her and I would encourage him to do that but not because she is a bad person but because he is unable to himself come to terms with the fact that she is not attracted to him only.

    Yes therapy would help him greatly.
    He can amicably break up with her friendship wise.
    She will understand.

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