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Rules to friendship / dating


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Have a great friend I've known for going on 16 years. We were good friends in high school. Ran into each other about 5 years back - he lives in a different state now. He came to town, we went out on a sort of double date - I sort of rushed him away end of evening and didn't talk to him again for a long time.


We've talked off and on for the past year or so - as friends. When I split up with my ex, my friend started calling more. About 6 weeks ago, he came to town and we spent some time together, had a good time, really good dinner.


I agreed to go to a wedding with him this weekend (his cousin, who I babysat years ago.) He is hoping I'll have my children stay with family for the whole evening possibly even night. (Honestly even taking time away from my kids for the wedding is making me sick to my stomach already - full of anxiety.)


I'm not interested in serious dating. I'm not interested in relationships. I have a strict set of priority's and can't imagine being in a relationship at this point.


He always says how much of a pleasure it is just to hang out together. I maybe talk to him weekly lately. Fact is, I know he has big hopes that we will end up in a relationship. I doubt that will happen due to my focus on me and my children. I've been there before. Where I was in a supposed relationship - all the signs were there that there was no future yet I hung on in hopes that I was wrong. So - do I need to discuss this with him? Do I need to say "look, I really do not see myself in a relationship?" Or do I just go with the flow that we are just good ol friends having fun together? (fun as in dinners, weddings.) I don't want to be the person that allows someone to spend their time on me and hopes for more only to be let down if that never happens.

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As Will Smith says in the movie Hitch "not one woman in this world wakes up and says "GEE, I sure hope I DO NOT get swept off my feet today".


You should not warn him of anything. Just go with the flow. Especially because you have known him for such a long time. He could possibly be THE ONE.


What if (and this is a big WHAT IF)... he goes in for a kiss that night, everything in the world feels and looks right. You lock lips and your heart completely changes. Later on in life you end up marrying this man and tell yourself, "I am sure glad I let things go with the flow, he sure has been a wonderful addition to my life".


Now on the other hand... you two go to the wedding, he starts to show interest, you allow a kiss, you don't "feel" it and then you are upfront with him. Tell him "I really enjoyed that kiss with you, I am just not ready for a relationship. Can we keep this very cordial?". He should not be offended.


Good luck

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Oh Dear! Oh my oh my! I love the movie Hitch. Love it! And I used to wonder when that sweet guy that would do absolutely anything to wow me would appear.


And then I became. . . . . so detached and weird about dating. Just your scenario of "kiss." Eck. I can't stand the thought of affection these days. lol I'd have to run away or something. I don't know. What if what if? Thank you so much for your response!

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So you don't see any future with this guy at all?


I'm sure if he tries to prolong the wedding date, and you say you need to get back to your kids, he'll get the hint that your kids will always come first. It doesn't sound like you need to actually sit down and discuss the situation with him or anything.


I also don't think you should rule him out when nothing's even begun yet. Maybe he's totally ok with casual dating or taking it slow.

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Well, last weekend he mentioned coming up (to town) early this week and seemed like he wanted to spend many days here visiting. (my children know him as my friend.) I called him and told him that I wasn't comfortable with that.


When he mentioned the 24 hours, I told him I highly doubt that I'd have that much time to spend. He shot back "well hopefully you do so you can relax and have a good time for once." (Mr. Hopeful / Optimistic.)


Half the time I talk to him, I'm sure I seem high strung and stressed as his suggestions and plans do put me on edge. He puts me on a pedestal. He thinks the world of me. He offers to pay for my expenses (daycare woes.) I nicely decline and thank him for the offer. The place we went to dinner last time was very high priced. I'd never been to such a place in my life. (Things that I've learned people don't do unless they are trying to win someone over?)


I don't know. He is sweet as can be and knows me well. All my little imperfections like freaking out if I'm going to have company and everything is not * * * * and span spotless. (I have kids - nothing is ever flawless in our home... lol - So I don't like to have company.) Whew... That was alot of info. I think I kinda stuff all this away - knowing that there is a high chance of just cancelling and not going to the wedding. Goodness sakes. I'm going to go - I can do this and hopefully he won't have huge expectations just because I do.

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I think you should just go with the flow and see what happens. I know that you are weary of being in a relationship since the last one was such a mess. This guys seems genuinely sweet and just wants you to have fun and relax.


I think aviatormy makes some good points.

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Y'know (and by the way, great pic!!)... some years back I would have said go with the flow. But, I am more wary now. Here's my story. Some years back I met a guy through on line dating. While the first meet was pleasant enough there was no spark. I declined to meet him again.


About ten months later we got back in contact - maybe through a social networking site. I had just ended a short, intense relationship. We started chatting on the phone - as friends - talking about people we had been dating. We decided to meet for coffee - I thought, as friends. Coffee lasted 4 hours. I felt maybe a bit of a spark.


We continued to talk and he asked if I would spend July 4th with him - he was invited to a party with a view of fireworks. I was not sure if he meant as friends or more but I suspected he meant more. I went - why not? - he made me a picnic lunch and during the day it became more clear that he thought of it as a date. I was "ok" with that, and went with the flow.


The next week, a relative was in a play. My parents were coming to see me and the play. I invited him and told him very clearly that this was not about him "meeting my parents" - they were seeing the play, there was an extra ticket, if he wanted to come along that would be nice. I was still on the fence. Well he treated it as "meeting my parents" and wanted to take them to dinner after. Luckily they couldn't make it. We had dinner and it was clear he was into me seriously. He made a pass at me and let's say it wasn't there for me. I ended things the next day.


If I could do it all over again, I think that even though there was this "not sure if we're friends or more" I would have not seen him the second time unless we had a very clear talk, and even then.... and I wouldn't have introduced him to my parents. A very smart person but heard what he wanted to hear. I felt really badly about the whole thing because he is a very good person.

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Just checking in. I'm sorry I didn't see your responses until today.


Little update: He has a desk that he is giving to me. Wants to bring it today. I'm sure that he figured it'd be okay for him to just stay over. Talked to him a bit ago and he asks me several times "anything wrong with you? You sound better than a couple days ago but still weird." I told him I don't think he should stay over. And then he asked what I'd decided about staying over in a hotel tomorrow(supposedly less drive.) I've been telling him for the past few weeks that I don't plan on staying over anywhere.


I should just cancel. I feel horrible. He's just Mr. Mellow "whatever makes ya happy." But I am being very difficult. I am quite sure he had this big weekend with me planned. I just wanted to go to the wedding. I guess though I've known for awhile and should have set things straight prior to now. My oh my...


Thank you all very much for your perspectives. I always appreciate and value them so much! I think going with the flow for so long with my ex off and on for so long has ruined my ability to go with the flow. I also don't think "being swept off my feet" is something that's possible right now.


What is fair? Is it fair of me to cancel all plans for the weekend at this point? Is it fair for me to spend time with him but have a chip on my shoulder the whole time? Is it fair for me to set all these rules and guidelines and plans while some of it is inconvenient and maybe not what he was hoping for? If we just had plans to meet and go to the wedding and reception..... I think I'd be okay.

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But, I am more wary now.


I just don't get the stakes here, is there more to the story? Sounds like he was interested, you weren't, and you both moved on after enjoying some social time together. Was he devastated or did he act betrayed somehow? Guys make passes every day and get rejected, is that a great big deal? It sounds like you feel you were unfairly "trapped" somehow, am I missing something?


This plays into OP's topic. If he is a mellow, go with the flow type as you describe, don't bust up your plans. The guy doesn't sound like the big bad wolf who's gonna kidnap you off to a Vegas wedding chapel Would it be possible to be flattered by his interest and attention, while still remaining steadfast in declining, instead of considering natural sexual interest an imposition?


That's the feel I get from threads like this, that healthy, but unwanted attention from a man is somehow an imposition. Is that really a fair attitude to have? Am I characterizing things unfairly? Could see it if the man had disgusting habits or was a blatant pig, but these guys don't sound so bad as that.


As far as unwanted plans go, it's his fault for overplanning things, and totally within your rights to stick to what was agreed upon. If he would get pissy with you for that, then can definitely see your point. Do you think he might react that way?

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Servedcold you make many good points.


As far as the "trapped" feeling. Yes for some reason I feel like I am so trapped with this guy. His over planning didn't help but maybe it's just moreso my guilty or worry that I am leading him on... I don't know.


He's coming to bring that desk here in a little while and then we are all going to dinner. Tomorrow, we'll meet somewhere and then go to the wedding and he knows I plan to either come home alone or go to my mom's.


Now if I could just get a little energy. I am exhausted. Been a big day w/training at work, taking my daughter for her big 5 year old shots and then driving to take her to her dad's. eh. I was thinking about things earlier and on top of all my other priorities, it's just really hard for me to think about involving anything / anyone else in with those. People say - relax - let someone treat you well.... That's all fine and dandy but I just firmly believe it's not fair knowing that it won't become anything and I won't necessarily return the favors.

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Without hijacking this thread, just wanted to clarify - that, yes, he did seem to be taking things very seriously, after the "pass" he called the next day obviously upset that I had not reacted well to the pass, and, no, I did not feel trapped but I did feel that I wasn't paying close enough attention to the fact that despite my trying to be clear on our "status" that was not getting accross. Perhaps no matter what I said he saw the "meeting the parents" as a significant step.

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Well, imthatgirl (love the handle by the way), hope you have a great time at the wedding and he doesn't come on strong and make you uncomfortable. Will be interested to hear how things turn out.


Batya, I understand your position then if he was pouty and a bad sport about your rejecting his advances.


Personally, I'm always flattered when women show me sexual attention, even if I find them unattractive and even if they take it to a point where I have to tell them "not interested." Admittedly, it's rarer for guys to be in these situations and if it was of a certain frequency it could surely get annoying.

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Do you feel like you're leading him on and does it bother you? If you feel that way and it does bother you then you should just be forward and honest with him. You'll find out for sure if he wants more and he'll find out that you aren't interested. You're anxiety about the situation will be alleviated.

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Thank you all again for your advice with this situation!


Update: I went to the wedding. He didn't pick me up til last minute and I thought for a moment maybe he wasn't going to! lol That's what'd I'd get for being so fussy eh?


Wedding was wonderful. Reception was great! I used to babysit for the bride and her sister (his cousins) as well as his brothers. It was great seeing them all grown up.


After the reception, we decided to make a roadtrip to Chicago (3 hr drive from here) to get my daughter a doll she's wanted for her birthday. Rushed there making it 5 minutes before the store closed! Then went and got Hershey's cupcakes for her party and a football for my son and Borders bookstore (did you know that store has a basement full of bargain books? I'm a junkie for books, books, books, especially for my kids.) We also just hung out and relaxed for a couple hours and then rushed back to IN (I wasn't comfy staying overnight with anyone or out of town - we dropped me at my mom's @ 5 am.)


Anyhow - never would have pulled that all off without his kindness.


Sunday had my daughters party (she's 5 - wow!) and went swimming. He stopped by my aunts that evening and hung out then helped my aunt with some hardware in her yard. My aunt says "yeah - you should keep him) in front of him. My family really thinks he's great.


Yesterday, I called him a couple times and he returned my call late last evening. lol During our drive home Sat night, he kept making comments (compliments I suppose "yeah you just doing something to me and I know I've said a million times but you're legs are driving me crazy.) I finally said to him that I'm just not into serious dating or relationships right now... He seemed grumpy for awhile. I guess when he didn't call yesterday, I was worried that I had hurt his feelings.


So end of the story is: He truly is a GREAT guy. A guy that not only treats me but also understands my quirks and has a patience for them. He's not so much my type but....... time will tell I suppose. I'll keep you all posted. Thank you again!

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Sounds like a fun weekend. Also sounds like you are considering him with thoughtfulness, and not foreclosing any possibilities. Good for you. If you get to the point where you are definitely sure it is a no-go, you should withdraw and accept no further help or favors from him. Best wishes going forward.

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Thanks Served~


I suppose I am considering that maybe I may at some point be interested in a "serious" relationship. But for me, it will take much time to determine that.


I will definitely make it clear to him if I determine that there's definitely no possibility of more.

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