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not returning advances from female "friends"


PLUSA
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Hi,

 

It seems that everytime that I spend much time with a female "friend" that things get very weird, really fast. I must say that I definitely seem to create or attract drama.

 

I have now had 4-5 situations fairly recently where I knew that someone was very attracted to me and I kept it friends, despite constant advances. There was no doubt as to the attraction on their part, ...as girls seem to be attracted to me for the same things...confidence and what they sometimes say is "perfect body" lol, I wouldnt go so far...

 

Well, my question is whether I am somehow leading these girls on...The thing is that I really do act like a jerk, and never make any suggestive comments, though i do realize you can flirt without making any compliments etc...

 

I do value these friednships, but in the end they end up hating me...and tell me how much I've hurt them and...how they thought I was the perfect guy, but that they realized that I didnt think they were good enough for me...I have on some occasions tried to explain where I was coming from...and how felt, but it usually just makes them feel worse...Pretty much all said that it was hard to see me, and that separating their feelings...as "just frineds" wouldn't be possible bc they tried to do this...a female friend of mine...tells me me i like knowing i can break hearts etc...and that my don't care attitude-confidence is what girls think is some challenge...i guess evidenced by all these girls thinking they were gonna change my view on relationships...being faithful etc...

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Hi plusa,

The question you asked is a great first step. It shows that you care about your behavior in relationships and want to work at improving them. I'm new to the forum, so I'm not sure how much my inexperienced input is worth. I'm also a woman who has many great guy friends and, in general, have not had the experience you describe personally. I've seen it happen with other female friends, though. Usually they are single--and really wanting a "boyfriend-not-just-friend" without saying so upfront--or the guy they've been hanging about with also is single but perhaps no interest in having a romantic relationship.

 

You don't mention the kinds of activities you engage in with your female "friends", but if they involve ordinary (not too intimate or potentially sexual situations)--like sports, group activities, casual hanging out--you're probably not doing anything specifically to lead them on. If I were you, I would continue to be cautious about getting too flirtatious, or introducing sexual references/conversation. If you have thought of doing so, I would advise against giving "romantic" gifts, or even having long, intimate conversations, when you suspect a woman is showing unwanted attraction.

 

I don't want to present contradictory advice, but personally, part of my interest in male-female friendships is the gentle flirtation that is possible--without going any further. You're right; it's possible to compliment each other, and even to let the sparks fly sometimes--and that can be fun. At the end of the day, though, what I value about my guy friends is the same as what I value about my female friends--they're lots of fun, can be counted on when I need them, are great listeners, and critical of me when they need to be--and I'm able to be the same to them, as well, I hope!

 

You didn't mention the problems you were having specifically, apart from the unwanted attraction and the creation/attraction of "drama". You do say, however, that you "really do act like a jerk".

Has it occurred to you that these women may be reacting to your general behavior rather than some sort of unrequited physical attraction? Maybe your perception of their "advances" is not as intense as you imagine.

 

I understand that women's imaginations can work overtime, too, so it's possible that their trouble "separating their feelings" just means that they imagined something more than friendship had developed with you, and they were too disappointed at the time to continue the friendship. Being a faithful friend is a quality that you should (and perhaps do) value in itself. A genuinely faithful friend shouldn't expect some sort of romantic love as a reward, but perhaps these women don't realise that.

 

On that note, take care of yourself, too. Be sure that your friends appreciate you for your entire personality and not just your good looks or "confidence". Try not to confuse a "don't care attitude" with confidence, either. Maybe women do see that sort of nonchalant/devil-may-care behaviour as a turn-on, but believe me, the excitement definitely is fleeting!

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No, I didnt have to interpret their advances, they told me straight out.

 

Last time a female "friend" and I met she constantly told me how physically attracted she was to me, and that even though she shouldn't be she was attracted to my personality as well. this included, constant compliments, exessive touching (all initiated by her), she gave me gifts-I never gave her any. Sent me a wallet on my birthday, where she wrote how much cared about me. Aft4er a while, when no returing her constnat compliments which were daily, her attitude changed to...well i attracted to you, but only physically bc youre such a prick and only think about urself...She would say pretty regularly esp after she put herself out there...that she always knew i could break her heart, but that she would never let that happen and that she knows to be careful and shouldnt think of me romantically bc she would just get hurt in the end. she did...

 

It was a weird situation, because while I didn't come on to her, I did engage in a lot of stuff that could easily have misled her. We had constant fights, mostly about what an arrogant prick she thought I was ...because I didnt give a relationship a chance. I dont think I've ever fought with all the girls in the past as her put together. Few other people that witnessed some of our fights, and they witnessed the mild ones, always said you guys ...obviously want to be with each other so much, but are to afraid of getting hurt, ...and she obviously is just frustrated/hurt, about getting her heart broken and not giving things a chance...

 

We had many fights about how I dont care enough etc...and most of these arguments ended up with her sobbing, which I know she hates to do, because she definitely doesnt like giving the guy power in a relationship. Well to make long story shorter, after huge sobbing episode, where she screamed that no matter how nice she is no matter how much she shows how much she cares about me etc...ill never be good enough for her. after controllign her sobbing she asked if i would do the the right, and i said I dont know. she said you know what i want from you...and you wont even bother trying to make me feel better...after that episode i gave her friends speech, and things got really weird. fighting every day instead of 2-3 times a week, with everything argument ending with me walking out ...and he crying and saying she always knew i would walk and would give up...

 

finally, i just told her why didnt want to go out with her, and that i thought i made it clear that i wasn't sure what i thought ...but that i would need a long time...which she took as an insult, she didnt take it well...and i said some insensitive comments. tried to apologize a week later, and...she just yelling and screaming...etc...and then finally just started crying...I just had to hang the phone up...

 

I now see her daily because were in same grad school, and I know it is still hard for her to see me. told me if we went other ways she would have to try and stay away so that she doesnt develop feelings taht would end up hurting her.

 

I honestly do miss her friendship greatly. I thought of her as more than a friend. she was a great companion...and I really mean that...but that wasn't enough for her...

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littlefeet,

 

I forgot to mention that...we spent everday togehter ...which usually meant...all day in grad school and then hang out 5-6 days a week together, ...till time to go to bed. That meant we sometimes hung out till 5-6 in the am on the weekends together...

 

acting like a jerk meant i someimes didnt listen to her, and i just told her teh opposite of what she wanted to hear...and when arguing i could have calmed things down, ...instead of escalating things.

 

i think i probably had more feelings than i like to admit...she wasnt stupid or imperceptive either, said that she feels i like d her too, and that she always knew i coudl break her heart, ...and she took the risk anyhow...bc she thought it was worth the risk.

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Hi plusa--

Well, you certainly have clarified things--maybe even a bit more so for yourself than before.

I'm not sure what others' experiences are, but yes, what you describe does sound like quite a lot of time to spend with one person (especially when that one person is in your grad program). Such closeness, however, can work out positively, too.

 

I'm really sorry you're experiencing the loss of your friend right now, but try to relax. I don't know your friend the way you do but would suggest letting things calm down a while. Let her have some "space" and maybe even write her a note or email telling her that's what you're doing (so she doesn't think you've ignored her--I'm betting she feels quite embarrassed, too, about her mistaken perception of your feelings). Maybe she could tell you when she feels ready to talk again, and you could resume the friendship--but perhaps not spend so much time together as before--at least for a while.

 

Your behavior (the "acting like a jerk" bit) sounds like nothing more than anyone else might do--a normal amount of "messing up" in a friendship. I'm not sure if you apologized later when you realised you were in the wrong, but you seem like the type who might. (Apologizing, and really meaning it, can do wonders, if you haven't tried that)

 

The problem, on your side, seems to be that you've been pushed toward relationships that you might not want, or at least aren't sure you want. I don't know all the reasons for your conflicted? feelings, but I can sympathize with the closeness of a grad program, and maybe being unsure whether the daily interaction might not be what you would choose under other circumstances. There is nothing at all wrong with taking the time to be friends with someone, and maybe later making things more romantic, if both people want to--or not.

 

The key word there is "both people". That includes you! Even if your feelings have wavered one way or the other on occasion, that doesn't give someone else the right to assume anything about your relationship that you haven't said to each other. That said, people being people, one is often bound to have different or deeper feelings, and everyone is different--she probably is feeling really vulnerable and sensitive right now. If she really wanted a "boyfriend not friend", maybe she feels she spent time with you, when she could have been meeting someone who was more interested in being a boyfriend. I don't know that--and I'm guessing you're not sure either.

 

Good luck with your situation. The fact that you both seem to have had lots of good times together is in your favor. I hope things work out, with a little time!

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thanks for the input,

 

no doubt i was conflicted and she knew that without me even saying so...

 

we both agreed that we would never argue with someone so often and son intensely if we didnt have some deeper feelings...but she knew ...that i didnt have as strong a physical attraction to her as she did to me...i really cared about her and my attraction was purely from being emotionally close...

 

she did mention being embarrassed and feeling really stupid and felt like i used her just to boost her own ego...and that i never really intended to do anything with her...

 

odd point...not sure if really relevant...

 

but im adopted and was abandoned by my mother when i was 4 and ...she happens to be the same race ...as my mother was,...and she would sometimes say she thought i never gave her a chance because she reminded me of my mother and my childhood...weird, bc i think there might be some truth to it...normally people dont pick up on that sort of thing...bc im what most people think is macho and very intimidating looking...which i think is funny...mostly i think from being in shape etc...

 

but its strange how perceptive she was sometimes...

 

i tried apologizing and every time...it ended with her crying and ...acting very irrational...telling me ...she didnt want to be with a guy she had such intense feelings for ...and that im always hurting her...and every time i charm her she lets herself get hurt more. unfortunately, i did the wrong thing ...and just walked out, or just shut her out after every "talk" as she put it ...i simply tried to drive her away..and she knew which made it worse...

 

i agree with the grad school, thing lots of people seem really desperate and stressed out and look for someone to support em, im in law school

 

i still see her everyday...and ...i know it still hurts her, she is the type that wears her emotions on her face and she usually has to look away in the same way she did when she used to lose it and start crying......though i have gotten over it. i just put this out there bc this sort of thing happens to me all the time...girls that dont know me well, or are truly just friends...always ask me how i get into so much drama...i think im starting to understand...lol

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hope everything works out, plusa. . . you do seem as though you're starting to understand this situation a lot more (not to mention how complicated it seems to be). Law school!--now that is a big part of the problem! I'm in a tough grad program right now, and it's definitely contributing to stress with friendships and my ldr. --and lol, my source of stress is that there AREN'T any men in it. Can you imagine how we girls get sometimes?!

 

The fact that the two of you are in the same program is going to be hard on both of you right now, but just try to give her a little space (or maybe a lot!), and if talking is too emotional, maybe write down what you have to say, and explain what you're doing by not being around so much.

 

It may be useful to look at your background to understand some of your actions, but that works only to a point. Then you have to just say "that was then, this is now" and work on improving your present tense.

 

I can tell you really care about this relationship, and I think with a little time, things will improve.

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