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Thread: Dating --> Friends --> Dating. Is it possible?

  1. #1
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    Dating --> Friends --> Dating. Is it possible?

    Hello, everyone. I would like some advice on a situation that I already posted in another forum, but still am feeling confused/depressed.
    Here is my post:

    [I][I]I dated this guy that I really liked (and he really liked me) for about a month. We met through an online Christian dating website. Our chemistry seemed to really click in the beginning and we went out on three very successful dates. We had a lot of important values to us in common such as no pre-marital cohabitation, no pre-marital s*x, and being politically conservative. I specifically mentioned in my profile that I did not want to date someone who did not believe in those values (no cohabitation before marriage, no pre-marital s*x, and being politically conservative. I was searching for someone who was compatible with me in those ways. If they didnít meet those criteria, they werenít worth my time. I think that we just wanted to choose the people we associate with very carefully.
    When I found out that he had the same view points as me, I became very optimistic. I think that these values are incredibly rare, and I get very excited when I find someone like that.

    We had great conversations, made each other laugh, and had fun with each other. At the end of the third date, we kissed. On the fourth date, we went to a party and hung out with his friends. We talked a little bit during the date, but not a whole lot. We played a few games together during the party and watched the Astros vs Nationals baseball game. After the party, we kissed a lot. On the fifth date, we went country dancing. Some talking, but not a huge amount. We went to get dinner after. We talked some, but there were some silent periods. We also talked more/opened up more after dinner. I thought it was a wonderful evening overall. By the sixth date, we hung out at my apartment complex, talked a lot in the beginning, played pool together, talked some, played cards, and then kissed for a good period. I still think that was a wonderful evening. But for the 7th and 8th dates, there was almost no conversation Ė just all physical. Part of that is my fault obviously. For the 7th date, I felt like I wanted to get it out of my system. For the 8th date, we talked for about 2 hours, but the kissing was more because we ran out of things to talk about. After we kissed, we opened up more/talked. But after the 8th date, I sensed that he was pulling away/becoming more distant. It really freaked me out. We had one phone conversation after the 8th date and there were quite a few stretches of silence because we were both thinking of things to ask each other/talk about.

    Then, when he asked to see me to talk, I knew something big was coming. Thatís when he said he didnít think things would work out with us in the long term. Of course, I asked why. The main reason I feel comfortable discussing on this post is that he said because our conversations felt awkward and forced. (There were two other reasons). I didnít know how to respond. I didnít think it was very fair. Sometimes thatís going to happen where you run out of things to say or donít know what to talk about. But I just took it to mean that there was something missing from our chemistry that he was searching for. And I realized that maybe my attraction for him clouded my mind so much that I couldnít have very deep, in-depth conversations with him. (I didnít tell him that because I hadnít thought of it at the time. But I did after I left him. Also, after he left, I realized that I just wanted to be in his presence. I was just so happy to even be near him, I couldnít think of anything than how great he was.)

    When he was talking, I kept thinking ďThis is wrongÖ Heís wrongÖ Heís making a mistakeÖĒ The whole time, he seemed to be really struggling to say these things. I donít know if he didnít want to do it because he wasnít sure if he was doing the right thing or if he didnít want to do it because he liked me as a person and didnít like the fact he was hurting my feelings.

    I asked if we could still be friends, and he said ďSure, if youíd like to.Ē And I said yes. I asked him if I could get a hug from him, and he agreed. When he hugged me, he stroked the back of my head (which really makes me cry, to me, that just makes things so much more painful).

    Is it possible to build a stronger friendship with him? I want to remain friends because he made me so happy, made me smile. I never walked away from him without a smile on my face. I think thatís a positive quality in a friend, and definitely something that I need right now.



    I already received feedback from someone and the summary of what they told me was "I can tell this connection and opening way too fast. This just feels like you two were desperate to connect and attach when opening up takes a long time. There's no rush in opening up, however its important to really notice red flags and see if this is a person thats emotionally available. I can see how one side is starting to feel this is happening way too fast, while the other side is becoming more focus on connecting. I also see how things are becoming more about being physical. This is an indication he was okay when things were on the fantasy stage, but soon as realization kicked in is where he felt scared and began to be less present, while your anxiety and eagerness to connect took over. One thing I would like to point out is that you got attached really fast, in the unconcious you felt like this guy was meeting your unmet needs. I can sense you go through separation anxiety and fear of abandonment. There's a chance your caregivers would withdraw love at any moment and back away from you, so now this trigger you in the present. I hope you don't feel im dismissing or minimizing how you feel, it just feels like the projection of unmet needs, the need to connect, the need to be acknowledged and need to feel good enough are playing a huge role here. I feel all this will lead you to coming on strong, and will want to do whatever to get close.You obviously want him more than friends, but you are willing to settle for less just to have him for your life. This decision will not make you happy, specially if he starts dating again. This is a projection of unmet needs, and looking outside of self to make you happy. This can be manipulative because its says "I want him in my life in any way possible because he makes me happy". I understand what you are saying, but you don't love him as a friends. You love him in a romantic way. I can tell you felt incredibly well with him, and at the moment you are willing to settle for anything less to keep feeling good. This is like bandage in a big wound because you are relying on him to make you feel a certain way about yourself. The struggle between closeness and distance played a huge part on how things ended. don't think he was making a mistake. I honestly feel thing happened way too fast for him, and the level of anxiety you felt also caused him to back away. You have the mindset of "I think we are right for each other", "he is the one" while he has the mindset of "I don't think things will work out". This tells me you put tons of meaning and investment in what you two have than him, so little by little you will see how this pushes him away."


    So to everyone HERE, he actually admitted to me once that he is afraid of commitment. So part of me is not surprised that he grew serious and then once he realized how deep he was because he wasnít sure anymore, he backed out. He also said that one of his past relationships was on/off, which told me that he might kind of flip-flop/go back-and-forth in an unhealthy way. But he made it seem like that was a while ago.
    I'm going to try to be more honest with myself. I want to build a stronger friendship to try to convince him to be back with me. I can be honest with him about that. I want to open up a new chapter where we get to know each other as friends. THEN. If he decides he still doesn't want to be with me, then okay. I can keep it platonic and SERIOUSLY JUST BE GRATEFUL TO BE FRIENDS. If he DOES decide to be with me, then wonderful. Either way, I keep him in my life. I donít understand what is wrong with settling for less just to have him in my life? I want to keep him in my life as a positive influence. I feel like I need good people in my life right now. I need people in general that make me smile, and I will accept it as just being friends or more than that. The other person is correct that I am relying on him to make me feel happy. But not feeling happy/better about myself. About my life in general. I feel very stressed out and miserable in life, and he was like a ray of sunshine for me that warmed everything, made everything brighterÖ However, I understand that my life needs to be stable, and I need to already be somewhat happy to be ready for a romantic relationship.

    My question to everyone here, 1) do I even have a chance of him getting back with me? and 2) is trying to re-start a new relationship as friends first a good idea and leave the rest up to him?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    What have friends, family and others advised you? Don't go backward. It's not safer or easier.
    Originally Posted by poetsinger
    I would like some advice on a situation that I already posted in another forum, but still am feeling confused/depressed.

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    Person 1: One) I believe it is possible be friends with this person, and possible to build a stronger relationship. However, I am aware of what you say, but I want to reiterate that you cannot go into being friends with him expecting/hoping that you'll be together again one day. Going into this friendship knowing that information will always put a "What If" in the back of your minds for a bad reason, and he will always wonder if what you do is because you want to be his friend, or is mistaking it for your still-longing romantic feelings for him.

    Two) Whilst it's a Possibility, I don't think it's a healthy option for your friendship to consider it as such. Like I said before, if one goes into something like this seeming like they're expecting something, or rather at least know that one feels for the other, that "What If" will always be in the back of your minds, for every interaction you have. And that is not a healthy foundation for a friendship, or a relationship of any form.

    Person 2: I think he'll be back.

    I think I should be honest with the guy I dated and explain that the reason why I want to remain friends is 1) because I need people in my life that made me smile, and he definitely did that and 2) because I'm hoping that he might change his mind if we build a stronger friendship, but I am leaving the door open for him. I am comfortable with either option because I will just be glad he's in my life PERIOD.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a good idea. It's a little too much for most people. He may agree to it but don't be surprised if this guy does the slow fade over time.

    I think you do deserve to have positive influences in your life. You should meet new friends and enjoy your interests and hobbies and meet like-minded individuals with similar beliefs. However crossing your wires and pleading with a date to be a friend after the romance doesn't work out is speaking volumes about you as a person - what you need badly which I'm reading as understanding, love, acceptance. All of that comes in good time. Right place, right time, right company. Not accepting this person's decision is awkward and a tad disrespectful to him and his decision - he doesn't want to be with you.

    Be kind to yourself. I think this might also be a bit of a wake up call for you. If you are very much a stickler for hanging out with only one type of person or have a very narrow idea of what's acceptable to you in terms of considering someone a friend, you will probably find yourself quite friendless and lonely. I'm not suggesting for you to start losing your beliefs or becoming so open-minded that you forget yourself but there should be room for you to accept other types of people/friendships or people from other walks of life. Truly confident people don't need exact replicas or clones of themselves to be around them all the time. They don't need that constant reinforcement or validation of self. What I'm suggesting is focusing on positive influences in your life now and creating a safe space where you can explore and network and find friends to connect with in meaningful ways. They might not always have the exact same beliefs as you. Let go of this guy.

    I don't think this person should be your friend at all. You would be better off forging your own way and meeting new people in your own time.

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    f. I want to build a stronger friendship to try to convince him to be back with me. I can be honest with him about that. I want to open up a new chapter where we get to know each other as friends. THEN. If he decides he still doesn't want to be with me, then okay. I can keep it platonic and SERIOUSLY JUST BE GRATEFUL TO BE FRIENDS. If he DOES decide to be with me, then wonderful. Either way, I keep him in my life.

    I know people who went on a date or two with someone and both realized there was no spark or attraction but shared common interests - felt more like brother and sister. They remainded friends and she actually introduced him to his future wife.

    As far as your situation, don't see him again so that you may meet a man who is interested in a relationship with you. he is not the last man in the world.

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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I don't think it's a good idea. It's a little too much for most people. He may agree to it but don't be surprised if this guy does the slow fade over time.

    I think you do deserve to have positive influences in your life. You should meet new friends and enjoy your interests and hobbies and meet like-minded individuals with similar beliefs. However crossing your wires and pleading with a date to be a friend after the romance doesn't work out is speaking volumes about you as a person - what you need badly which I'm reading as understanding, love, acceptance. All of that comes in good time. Right place, right time, right company. Not accepting this person's decision is awkward and a tad disrespectful to him and his decision - he doesn't want to be with you.

    Be kind to yourself. I think this might also be a bit of a wake up call for you. If you are very much a stickler for hanging out with only one type of person or have a very narrow idea of what's acceptable to you in terms of considering someone a friend, you will probably find yourself quite friendless and lonely. I'm not suggesting for you to start losing your beliefs or becoming so open-minded that you forget yourself but there should be room for you to accept other types of people/friendships or people from other walks of life. Truly confident people don't need exact replicas or clones of themselves to be around them all the time. They don't need that constant reinforcement or validation of self. What I'm suggesting is focusing on positive influences in your life now and creating a safe space where you can explore and network and find friends to connect with in meaningful ways. They might not always have the exact same beliefs as you. Let go of this guy.

    I don't think this person should be your friend at all. You would be better off forging your own way and meeting new people in your own time.
    Fantastic advice here!
    I was in your situation a week ago!
    Truly, the folks on ENA repeatedly had to beat some sense into me. So did Dating Guy! I just received his advice today and it was very similar.

    You DON'T NEED this guy's friendship. Truly, you don't. There are tons of great people you can learn to become friends with in the future. Take this as a challenge to yourself to branch out and learn how to connect with others in a platonic and friendly way.
    I made the mistake of trying to be 'friends' with my ex.
    He not only did a slow fade - but he also shoved in my face his new partner in an emotionally damaging way.
    It wasn't fantastic and really set me back from healing and moving on.
    I'm still struggling myself - but knowing that this guy is NEVER going to come back puts me on the track to healing and opening myself to other people/experiences and life.

    Don't make my mistake. Don't be friends with your ex.
    It shows that you're desperate for anything and lowers your value in HIS eyes! I should have taken the high road. Oh well, you live and learn.

    Listen to the folks on ENA. They are wise.

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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    f. I want to build a stronger friendship to try to convince him to be back with me. I can be honest with him about that. I want to open up a new chapter where we get to know each other as friends. THEN. If he decides he still doesn't want to be with me, then okay. I can keep it platonic and SERIOUSLY JUST BE GRATEFUL TO BE FRIENDS. If he DOES decide to be with me, then wonderful. Either way, I keep him in my life.

    I know people who went on a date or two with someone and both realized there was no spark or attraction but shared common interests - felt more like brother and sister. They remainded friends and she actually introduced him to his future wife.

    As far as your situation, don't see him again so that you may meet a man who is interested in a relationship with you. he is not the last man in the world.
    I agree and in the scenario above - both parties didn't feel the spark.
    If YOU still like this guy romantically, then it's not going to work out. You want more from the relationship than he's willing to give you. Don't put yourself in that type of negative head space. You will feel let down. You will also drive yourself insane looking for 'signs' that his intentions are moving towards a relationship goal.
    You WILL find other people. But, make it priority to do something new and learn to become a better version of yourself. It will give you drive and focus on something healthy rather than focusing on someone who DOESN'T want you. You deserve better!

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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I don't think it's a good idea. It's a little too much for most people. He may agree to it but don't be surprised if this guy does the slow fade over time.

    I think you do deserve to have positive influences in your life. You should meet new friends and enjoy your interests and hobbies and meet like-minded individuals with similar beliefs. However crossing your wires and pleading with a date to be a friend after the romance doesn't work out is speaking volumes about you as a person - what you need badly which I'm reading as understanding, love, acceptance. All of that comes in good time. Right place, right time, right company. Not accepting this person's decision is awkward and a tad disrespectful to him and his decision - he doesn't want to be with you.

    Be kind to yourself. I think this might also be a bit of a wake up call for you. If you are very much a stickler for hanging out with only one type of person or have a very narrow idea of what's acceptable to you in terms of considering someone a friend, you will probably find yourself quite friendless and lonely. I'm not suggesting for you to start losing your beliefs or becoming so open-minded that you forget yourself but there should be room for you to accept other types of people/friendships or people from other walks of life. Truly confident people don't need exact replicas or clones of themselves to be around them all the time. They don't need that constant reinforcement or validation of self. What I'm suggesting is focusing on positive influences in your life now and creating a safe space where you can explore and network and find friends to connect with in meaningful ways. They might not always have the exact same beliefs as you. Let go of this guy.

    I don't think this person should be your friend at all. You would be better off forging your own way and meeting new people in your own time.

    I accept people with other values as friends, but not as romantic interests. I'm sorry, but I feel like for the person that I might want to build a relationship and life with, they have to meet very specific values. I get ultra-excited and too invested when I find someone who does have those values. But that doesn't mean I won't accept someone else as a friend.
    Also, I don't feel like I "pleaded". I just asked him. I left the door open for HIM. He could have easily said "I don't think that's a good idea".

    I do respect his decision that at this time, he doesn't want to be with me. He may change his mind after things cool off (and become less intense for him), or maybe he won't. I get that.
    I guess I'm struggling to accept that there will be no more happy memories with him in any way, shape, or form... even as "friends" (even in a group setting). That's what I can't get over.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Are you isolated or unable to make friends, join groups or clubs or volunteer or take a few courses? Do you work and/or go to school? What interests you? You could join some groups or volunteer or get part time job or or take classes in those areas. Putting all you eggs in one basket and "needing someone who makes you smile" is a recipe for disappointment.

    Have you considered therapy to organize your feelings and thoughts more cohesively? Of course the world does not revolve around what you feel, so expecting people to be pawns on your chessboard that you move around according to how you feel or what you want will be a fools errand. Have had a checkup from a doctor to make sure racing scattered thoughts are not a problem?
    Originally Posted by poetsinger
    I think I should be honest with the guy I dated and explain that the reason why I want to remain friends is 1) because I need people in my life that made me smile, and he definitely did that and 2) because I'm hoping that he might change his mind if we build a stronger friendship, but I am leaving the door open for him. I am comfortable with either option because I will just be glad he's in my life PERIOD.

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    Originally Posted by poetsinger
    I accept people with other values as friends, but not as romantic interests. I'm sorry, but I feel like for the person that I might want to build a relationship and life with, they have to meet very specific values. I get ultra-excited and too invested when I find someone who does have those values. But that doesn't mean I won't accept someone else as a friend.
    Also, I don't feel like I "pleaded". I just asked him. I left the door open for HIM. He could have easily said "I don't think that's a good idea".

    I do respect his decision that at this time, he doesn't want to be with me. He may change his mind after things cool off (and become less intense for him), or maybe he won't. I get that.
    I guess I'm struggling to accept that there will be no more happy memories with him in any way, shape, or form... even as "friends" (even in a group setting). That's what I can't get over.
    But they ALSO have to be interested in a relationship and interested in YOU.
    your values are not that uncommon.
    There are tons of people out there that feel the way you do.
    He is not a unicorn.


    The pitfall about waiting for marriage and making it known is that you have to learn to be comfortable with casual dating -- as in not sex, but coffee, going to concerts, etc, and not getting overly invested. Go out with different guys - it will help you meet guys and figure out what or who you are looking for. Otherwise you will look at every date as YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND and will get overly invested in the wrong guy. The problem is not waiting, the problem is not knowing how to "date" and assuming you deserve to have anyone with common values because you feel its meant to be.

    A good book to read is Boundaries in Dating. its from a Christian perspective and it talks about dating - a date is just a date. its okay to go to coffee with someone different than you - the process of dating is about having boundaries and not becoming instantly overly invested with the first guy you meet. Its a process to eventually find your match as the long game, but not every guy is going to be THE ONE.

    btw, if you just try to hang around trying to be his friend, it won't make him want you more. You know the saying - he can't miss you if you don't leave? You may have come off fairly intense for him, or he just realized he wasn't clicking with you - or wasn't attracted.

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