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Thread: Can good friendship ever become more?

  1. #161
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Please stop telling yourself that she's sharing about all that male attention because she has nothing else to talk about. Does she read books? Follow sports or current events? Enjoy music or art or restaurants? Have women friends who she can share about without gossiping?
    I mean, I don't feel like I'm "telling myself" anything. Much like myself, she's a bit of a homebody. And with the pandemic, I think that's just left her feeling extra bored. And even if she was unhappy with the ex, I'm sure it feels weird and lonely to just suddenly be living alone after having a live in partner for the last four years. Like I said, I just think her dating pursuits are the biggest thing going on in her life that feels "interesting" to her, right now. And while she does talk about it more than I'd like to hear about it, it's not like it's 99% of what we talk about. When we hung out a few weeks ago, she and I did have a pretty decent conversation about politics (we generally have very similar views, so not a "problem" topic), and then she also told me about this documentary she had watched, and when I said I hadn't seen it, she put it on and we watched it, and then we talked about that for a good bit after the fact. So, we do have conversations about other things and stuff. It's just that, for her, her current dates are the most "active" thing she's doing right now to be worth talking about, in her mind.

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    All I meant was if you thought she was interested in you you'd be very open to at least discussing it even if she wasn't ready.
    Eh... Here's the thing. I'm very, very, very, VERY bad at knowing whether someone is or isn't "interested" in me. Heck, a few years ago, my friend, herself, teased me mercilessly because she noticed some girl apparently flirting with me, and I was completely oblivious to it. I've never been able to recognize that, and to be honest, by default, I assume that women are never "interested" in me, and that any extra attention is just them being friendly or overly nice. I don't know what "signs" to look for, or how to tell whether or not I'm being "flirted" with. I've never known. I just assume everyone isn't interested in me that way.

    Which, in a way, is probably a very unfortunate after effect from the last time I actually did like a girl. Because back then, several years ago, I was in my early 20s, and I still had no idea how to know if someone was expressing interest. With this last girl, I really thought she was "showing interest" and trying to get me to notice her. And then when I pursued her, I was completely wrong, and I got rejected. And it hurt bad. It took me a very long time to get over her, because I liked her quite a lot.

    So, it's not necessarily that I "know" my current friend isn't interested. It's that I'm so completely terrible at reading that type of thing that I legitimately cannot tell one way or the other, and I'm terrified that no matter what I do, I'll do the wrong thing and screw it up in some way; that I'm either "missing the signals" and will let her slip away if there IS a chance, or that I'm "reading into things wrong" and that I'll push her away by pursuing something I shouldn't. I've never successfully found a "romantic connection" with someone. Ever. I don't know what one looks like, I don't know how one plays out, I don't know how to not miss the opportunity if/ when it's there. And that's why I'm so torn and upset about the whole thing, because I'm just scared that I'm going to screw it all up no matter what I do or don't do.

    Like, what if there IS a chance? What if she IS sending me signals and hints that I'm not picking up on properly, and what if me not picking up on them is making her think I'm not interested? What if she and I COULD get together, and what if it ends up being the best thing that ever could've happened to either of us, and I'll have blown it and missed that opportunity because I couldn't tell she was giving me the go ahead? But on the flip side, what if I AM looking into things that aren't there, and what if it IS blatantly obvious she would never ever, in a million years, even for a second, consider me as a date, and that by even asking the question, I ruin the best friendship I've ever had in my entire life?

    You have to understand... From my perspective, I look back on my life, and I just feel like everything I've ever done, as far as social pursuits, dating pursuits, etc., I always feel like I ended up making the "wrong" choices. I either didn't pursue something I should've and missed out on something that could have been great for me, or I pursued something that I shouldn't have and lost something I didn't want to lose. Nothing has ever "worked out" for me. For once in my life, I just want something to "work out". I don't want to miss out on something great, and I don't want to lose something important to me. I'm just so tired of that. That's my whole life story. Missing out, or losing something valuable. I just want so badly, to make the "right choice", for once in my life, to do the right thing, to do the thing that's actually going to bring about a good result, and happiness. Unfortunately, I'm always "wrong".

    And that's why I'm so scared, and indecisive, because she's so important to me. She really is. If I felt like I missed an opportunity, I would never forgive myself. If I pushed her out of my life, I would never forgive myself. It's... terrifying.

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    And she likely is ready otherwise she'd dislike all the male attention.
    Lots of people say that people have a "rebound" phase, especially after a long term relationship, regardless of the circumstances of the previous relationship. Again, not knowing anything about "dating" or what any of that stuff is like, I have no idea what that process looks like, or how long it's going to last. *If* I have a chance, I don't want to be a "rebound", and I also don't want to ruin my chance by approaching it when she's still trying to figure things out in her life. As of two days ago, she explicitly said to me that she's "not looking for something serious right now". I see no reason to not take her at face value. But again, I suspect I won't actually know when that will change, which makes the timing pretty difficult.

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    You will know she is interested in dating you when she responds enthusiastically to you inviting her out on a date. Or asks you out.
    Yeah... I mean, I definitely know she won't ask me out, if only because one thing she said a few weeks ago when we were talking is that she does not like having to be the one to "initiate" that stuff (and again, there's another one of those instances where I question, "Is that a hint I should be picking up on?").

  2. #162
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    More word salad. BIG word salads!

    So have you decided you're just not going to say anything and just lurk around acting as though you only have "friendly" feelings toward her?

    BTW, there are no "perfect" words. You either bite the bullet and say something or continue in limbo until she gets a boyfriend who won't appreciate this guy with a big crush on her trying to hang around.

  3. #163
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    So have you decided you're just not going to say anything and just lurk around acting as though you only have "friendly" feelings toward her?

    BTW, there are no "perfect" words. You either bite the bullet and say something or continue in limbo until she gets a boyfriend who won't appreciate this guy with a big crush on her trying to hang around.
    I want to say something. I don't know when I will, as I'm not sure how to identify the right time. But I feel like she'll still be able to be friends with me if I say something, and not be "bad" about it. So, I think that I will. When, I don't know.

  4. #164
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    This is just a suggestion - not saying it's something you ought to do. If you feel inclined, you could probably turn this into a journal if you're not really asking for any advice on anything. It sounds like you know what you're doing. There's a journal section in the forum. I'm sure you'll be fine and you'll find the right time.

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  6. #165
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    More word salad. BIG word salads!

    So have you decided you're just not going to say anything and just lurk around acting as though you only have "friendly" feelings toward her?

    BTW, there are no "perfect" words. You either bite the bullet and say something or continue in limbo until she gets a boyfriend who won't appreciate this guy with a big crush on her trying to hang around.
    I also get the fear of missing out - I had that fear for years about having the chance to have a baby because I kept making mistakes about who I got involved with, the clock was tickin' tickin' tickin' (My Cousin Vinny reference) and my friends kept getting married and making babies. It hurt so much. I did all the what ifs in my head too. I think social media these days fuels FOMO and it's sad. I had to bite the bullet too -not just about husband hunting and baby-making but about my schooling, career, etc. Please stop getting lost in your own head - it's a cop out. You're getting in your own way.

    It's always possible to miss out on an opportunity - of course - but just know that in general with very very rare exception - as I wrote above -when there's a mutual click between two single available adults who know each other in person it's really not this hard. I promise you. It basically falls into place. Timing is important but if two people meet at the wrong time the answer isn't to hang around like a puppy dog waiting for her to proclaim when it's the right time -because it's a turn off to her -she knows you're into her, she basks in the attention and she loves going on about her dating life because it puts you in your place and makes her a challenge. If it's the wrong time, walk away and preserve your dignity, show her that you're not going to lap up her attention especially in the form of "oh all these men want me!!!" - but you're going to give her the privilege of your attention when she realizes on her own she wants you.

    You'll know when that is because you're already friends- sure, spend some limited, casual time with her now and again but don't be so available to her. Because she's not into you at this time. If she is in the future she'll let you know. The alternative is to ask her out right now. Believe me so many people who are kinda recently out of long relationships and think they are not ready - all of a sudden realize they are when the right person asks them out. And all that analysis goes out the window because the rightness -the potential -is far more important. No one wants to let that opportunity slip through their fingers. If she truly isn't ready she'll tell you and make it totally clear that she does want you, she needs some more time, she doesn't want to date anyone else and she will let you know when she is ready although she knows she might risk losing you.

    Please don't focus on "well I always miss out on everything" -that gives you the easy way out and allows you to stay passive. Acting is harder but so much more rewarding.

  7. #166
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    I may respond another time to recent posts, but I wanted to pop on one time tonight to add something.

    I don't know if it "matters" or not (probably not), but so far, none of the stuff she's been telling me about her dating pursuits have been "success story" things. It's been stuff that ranges from lackluster experiences, to straight up major red flags. So, it's not like she's been telling me about guys she's really excited about and having a great time with. It doesn't sound like she's had that experience as of yet.

  8. #167
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    Originally Posted by SonicHighway
    I may respond another time to recent posts, but I wanted to pop on one time tonight to add something.

    I don't know if it "matters" or not (probably not), but so far, none of the stuff she's been telling me about her dating pursuits have been "success story" things. It's been stuff that ranges from lackluster experiences, to straight up major red flags. So, it's not like she's been telling me about guys she's really excited about and having a great time with. It doesn't sound like she's had that experience as of yet.
    People who want to be with other people romantically and are healthy and stable and don't want to sabotage things with rare exception avoid referencing other people who are pursuing them romantically. Or refer to bad dates other than very casually and very vaguely. People do that with their buddies. You know what - on my second meeting with my future husband I talked a lot about my ex and why things didn't work out - nothing scandalous and nothing about sex or sexual references - but at that time I honestly had no clue he was interested in me that way and I was trying to brush aside my feelings for him for a variety of reasons. He was really understanding and I regretted sharing as much as I did. And on our first meeting as soon as I felt sparks I didn't talk about my dating life at all -and it was a huge subject for me that summer because I was dating up a storm and at that point meeting 2-3 new men a week at least. I was full of stories. And as soon as I realized I thought he was cute lol I kept the conversation to anything but. He didn't discuss his recent relationship either until he had no choice to tell me and when he did it was brief.

    Again I'm just giving this as an example and I believe very strongly that people who have romantic feelings for each other and see potential for a relationship do their very best not to reference other romantic situations especially not in detail.

  9. #168
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    Yeah, I mean, I do get what you're saying.

    I just... I like to think everyone is different, some people are awkward, and some people just have different ways of thinking. Part of me wonders if she just really doesn't know if I'd be interested, and is trying not to pursue something because she doesn't really know where I'm at.

    Like... I know you'll say I'm reading too much into things, and you're probably right. But, this past weekend, she playfully wanted to get me drunk, and I allowed her to do so. And while I was still clearly intoxicated, she asked me a peculiar question out of the blue that made me feel like she was maybe trying to figure out what I think of her.

  10. #169
    Silver Member Dalesboy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SonicHighway
    Part of me wonders if she just really doesn't know if I'd be interested, and is trying not to pursue something because she doesn't really know where I'm at.
    But this is part of the problem sonic 'Part of me wonders'.....and that's how it's going to stay until you actually ask her out.

  11. #170
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    Originally Posted by SonicHighway
    Yeah, I mean, I do get what you're saying.

    I just... I like to think everyone is different, some people are awkward, and some people just have different ways of thinking. Part of me wonders if she just really doesn't know if I'd be interested, and is trying not to pursue something because she doesn't really know where I'm at.

    Like... I know you'll say I'm reading too much into things, and you're probably right. But, this past weekend, she playfully wanted to get me drunk, and I allowed her to do so. And while I was still clearly intoxicated, she asked me a peculiar question out of the blue that made me feel like she was maybe trying to figure out what I think of her.
    Yes, everyone is different. I acknowledged that there might be an exception.

    Here is what is true of almost everyone on the planet who is reasonably healthy: people move towards pleasure and away from pain. So in romantic contexts this mean people move towards forming a relationship rather than sabotaging because to sabotage is to move towards pain.
    You chose to get drunk and chose the consequences. You are so grasping at straws and the fact that you are doing that should give you your answer. I agree -stop wondering and start taking action/making a decision (although my favorite Rush song -one of my favorites "if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice").

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