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Setting boundaries


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Just thought I'd vent a little about something that's gotten me confused. I turned down a date last week with this guy who has liked me for awhile and just keeps hoping I'll like him in that way, although I don't. I think it was the right decision, because I don't have any feelings for him. We're not right for each other.


But the problem is, I feel guilty. I'm trying to figure out if I'm some sort of co-dependent enabler, which means that I don't think he can handle the rejection, so I feel bad and like I want to make up for it or clarify with him that I don't think he's a bad person.


From his behavior lately, I can tell he feels really hurt/mad.


I think the real problem might be that I don't feel comfortable setting my own boundaries. I'm not used to doing that, and so I'm afraid people won't respect them, or me. I'm afraid people will say I'm cold. I'm not, though. I just feel like I've given him PLENTY of clear signals that I'm NOT interested, so it's up to him to stop beating his head against the wall.


I think what I need to do is let him lick his wounds in peace. He's a big boy. Also, I need to believe that the decisions I make for myself are good decisions. Even if other people DO second-guess me, it's MY decision and I am the one to live with the consequences. It's my life, after all.


Anyway, thanks for reading this. Your comments are welcome.

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The weird thing is that we need to help one another. That is why we are humans living in a culture together.


I am not saying this in a bad way, but he is probably hurt because he thought that you liked him -- and then he asked you out and you said no.


I think that you owe him some kind of an explanation. Not that he isn't attractive, but that you don't want to be tied down right now. Tell him that you still value him as a friend, but that you are feeling confused and you don't really know what you want.


You are sorry if you led him on...

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You might have thought your signals were clear to him but obviously not. People will see things as they want to and not how they actually are. Just so that he can understand how you feel, you should tell him why you said no. Reassure him that he is a cool guy but you aren't interested. He should be mature enough to understand and respect your decision without acting rude.

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Hi - thanks for your thoughts! You have different points of view, but I appreciate them all. Jbutterfly2020, I totally agree that people just see what they want, not what is. I can't tell you how many times (lost count) that this guy has tried to pay for my meals and done other "date-like" things when we've been hanging out in the same group of friends. Each time I've refused because obviously, we were not dating and have never dated.


The real reason I wouldn't go out with him is because he doesn't know the word "boundaries." He actually does get mad when he doesn't get his way. That's why I'm afraid to even explain myself to him ... he'll take it as a sign that "deep down" I must really like him, and continue on his fantasy. What aggravation!


And yet, sisterlynch, I also agree with you that we need to help one another. I'm just wondering if sometimes, some people should be helped by others - like another guy could straighten him out instead of the girl he's interested in?


BTW, hurtbylove, thanks for giving the guy's perspective. I'm sorry you've been hurt in love, but I hope your next relationship is everything you could ask for.

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I guess that I must have missunderstood, you want to set up boundaries?


He needs to be told by you what the proper boundaries for you are....yes, he probably will be upset, but he needs to know. You can't have someone else do it. Some people really can't determine their own boundaries. Think of it as similar to a social anxiety disorder. He probably doesn't have a lot of confidence and he feels that he must purchase friendships.


Approach him like you would with a kid who just got in trouble at school. He knows better, but sometimes he just goes too far.

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Some people really can't determine their own boundaries. Think of it as similar to a social anxiety disorder.


Ah, okay - that makes sense. I didn't realize that he could be having problems with even "seeing" what his boundaries are. That fits his behavior to a T, actually. I guess I'll have to spell things out for him -- as you said, more like a kid. Thanks for the insight, sisterlynch!

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