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Thread: Can I fix this?

  1. #1

    Can I fix this?

    So I've worked with this guy for about 2years now. We've always gotten along. Though we never really worked directly with each other, we know a lot of the same people and share a lot of the same interests, so inevitably we became friendly.
    We recently got moved onto the same project - away from most of our mutual friends. It was a difficult transition for both of us, so I tried to talk to him a bit more. From my perspective, we got along really well.
    I admit, I started to like him. And I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual. We never really veered away from the usual topics. But there was a certain tension. Neither of us ever tried anything.
    Then he started getting short with me. Became more and more distant to the point where we just said "Hi" when we passed in the halls (I would catch him whispering it sometimes when he passed my desk too haha). But no matter what I tried to talk about, he would just give me quick answers and smileys instead of a conversation. It hurt.
    I decided to apologize - clearly I'd either been annoying him, or made him uncomfortable. I made it clear that this hadnt been my intention, and I would leave him alone from now on.
    I didnt mention my crush, because it seemed like I had misunderstood his flirting.
    His response to this was "No, you never annoyed me. You can always talk to me."
    Confusing, because I had been trying to talk to him and got nothing back. I told him this.
    "No, it's just difficult because I have a girlfriend back in (hometown)."
    I let this slide, but just ended the conversation with the promise that I wouldn't bother him anymore. He didn't seem happy about it, but let me leave.
    At that time, I should have been shocked. Because he hadnt mentioned this girlfriend before. Actually, I was glad, because now I knew why he had pulled away.
    In hindsight, however, I'm mad. Mad that he never said this before. If he had just told me this, we could have just ironed things out and continued as friends. I'm not a petty person, and this would have been fine with me, since in reality I just enjoyed our banter.
    Instead, I don't feel like that's an option. It felt very final... He can't talk to me because he has a GF, and now I'm sat here grieving the loss of a friend.

    What was he thinking?
    Was he just talking to me to be polite?
    Was he fine with the flirting, to a point?
    Did he feel like he was cheating? Why, if neither of us tried to take it any further?

    Is there anyway to salvage our friendship?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    At first, you fed his ego and he had fun that someone had a crush on him. But then things probably went too far for him and he became annoyed. It could be that he's making up the story of a gf as a kinder reason than "I'm just not that into you." I'd probably assume that, rather than hope that when he's single, he'll be wanting something with you.

    Start treating him as any other of your co-workers. Male/female friendships don't tend to last in the form you want it, in this particular situation. People go on to serious partnerships, and their opposite sex friendships often have to fade away, especially when you once wanted more.

    Since you want a bf, try Meetup.com and find singles activities for people in your age group.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    No, don't try and salvage any friendship. Just be cordial and professional at work. You shouldn't be looking to be too friendly with anyone in the work place. Join local clubs and organizations and meet your peers and develop friendships that way. He seems very uncomfortable about the way things were going. I'm sorry that it's caused confusion for you. Next time don't let things get out of hand or confusing and keep things more professional at work.

    Most individuals choose not to have female friends or male friends when they're in relationships. This might differ from your opinion and make you upset but you shouldn't seek to change anyone if they are one way already. Be respectful and don't think anymore of this.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ok this is your cue to pull way back and set some professional boundaries. Stop all the flirting and pseudo-boyfriend talk etc. He's your coworker and goes there to work. Date outside of work so you don't end up having "relationships talks" with someone at work. Start being polite and professional. and skip any personal conversation.
    Originally Posted by whatsreall
    His response to this was "No, you never annoyed me. You can always talk to me."

    "No, it's just difficult because I have a girlfriend back in (hometown)."

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    The problem with forming crushes is that they're a fantasy. Nobody is obligated to fit into any fantasies we create about them. Nobody 'owes' us private information to prevent us from crushing on them. That's on us.

    It's fine to be friendly with people at work, but keep it professional. Don't form expectations that people will operate outside of that context. It's work, not a therapeutic environment.

    Seek friendships outside of your job.

  7. #6
    sorry but i feel the need to emphasize that our talk was nothing different to how i interact with any of my other friends - male or female. no moves were made and there was no attempt to change the nature of our relationship. TV shows and music and the occasional "what did u do last weekend".

    to further complicate things... over the past few days I've tried to pull back the same as he did. stopped any messaging and kept my distance. which he didnt seem to like at all. it all came to a head today when he asked why i "wasn't paying attention to him".
    again, i don't want to lose him as a friend. but it seems that if I try to make contact he pulls away. and then when i try to pull away, he gets upset. i honestly don't know how to react

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It's a one-way situation and that is usually quite confusing and frustrating. Boundaries would help.

  9. #8
    but why is he getting offended when I'm trying to distance myself. i thought that was what he wanted

  10. #9
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by whatsreall
    sorry but i feel the need to emphasize that our talk was nothing different to how i interact with any of my other friends - male or female. no moves were made and there was no attempt to change the nature of our relationship. TV shows and music and the occasional "what did u do last weekend".

    to further complicate things... over the past few days I've tried to pull back the same as he did. stopped any messaging and kept my distance. which he didnt seem to like at all. it all came to a head today when he asked why i "wasn't paying attention to him".
    again, i don't want to lose him as a friend. but it seems that if I try to make contact he pulls away. and then when i try to pull away, he gets upset. i honestly don't know how to react
    How did you respond to the question?

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    He is stuck having to work with you and has already told you he has a gf and to back off. He is trying to maintain some sort of polite professional demeanor. It would be best for you to start dating outside of work. Ask some of your friends for tips on dating or if they know anyone you could date.
    Originally Posted by whatsreall
    but why is he getting offended when I'm trying to distance myself. i thought that was what he wanted

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