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Have I Formed a Toxic Friendship?


Astrogirl
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Hi,

 

I've recently formed a new friendship with a male friend. We have a few friends in common. We became friends on social media (I know, I know). Our friendship hit the ground running and it was as if we have known each other forever. He did cross boundaries, but backed off when I told him I am not available to date.

 

Our friendship has grown from strength to strength, and I suppose, continues to. However, there's a little feeling something is starting to misfire. He's gone from messaging me morning and night, to sporadic messages, that, once messaged, I have a load of. His messages have also begun to changed from good man to bad man, i.e. showing true colours, even though he's still very pleasant and non-threatening at the same time.

 

Once bitten I am, and I've got this odd feeling about him playing me, so I refrain from messaging first. It's almost as if I can feel a vibe from him waiting for me to break. So far, I never have. Sometimes he will leave it two or three days then suddenly he will message me, just to stay on my scene, I sense. It seems awful, but I feel like he is playing mind games, experiencing a personality change, and I am strongly picking up this vibe.

 

Another one of his tricks, if I do not message him first, is to react to all of my social media photographs in one go. Today, he hasn't spoken privately, but has hearted a dozen of my recent photographs, consecutively (and within a minute), and written comments on them all.

 

Please don't feel I am playing games back: when our friendship was 'normal' it didn't matter who messaged who first. Then he started to ignore my messages for a day or so, whilst liking my social media posts.

 

I am beginning to feel he is a platonic emotional vampire. It's like he platonically love-bombed me, dropped me, and has made me feel wary of getting in too close a friendship bond. There just seems like something is off. Is he playing games? I can't think I feel this from any of my other male friends, but something is chewing away at me on this one.

 

Any advice is appreciated. Just wondering if anyone has experienced an odd friendship like this that once seemed normal to increasing oddness.

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All I can say is keep this simple: If you get a bad vibe, something just doesn't feel right or something makes you feel uncomfortable, feels off, then you end it. You don't need any explanation. If it's not working for you, then you quit. Simply tell him the truth ... "it's not working for me" ... and then block/end all contact.

You don't have to keep friendships going when the vibe is off. Simple as that.

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Why are you investing so much time and thought into a platonic friend? serious question.

 

friends are friends... time and contact ebb and flow with whatever is happening in each person's life.

 

Maybe there was a time when he was interested in more than friends? And now he's moving on, which as a friend, you want him to, right? find someone of his own ...

 

Are you looking to end a friendship or are you mad that he is not paying attention to you as he was?

 

I don't really like high maintenance friends and prefer boundaries and such.

 

So with all that said, if you get a bad vibe about a person, its ok to change your mind about being friends.

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He's weird, strange and acts abnormally. Pay attention to your gut instincts because it's always correct.

 

Your online friendship with him has since run its course. Tell him nicely that both of you have personality differences which means it's time to go your separate ways. If he can't take a hint, then tell him that it's time to end the friendship. If he continues to be relentless with either contacting you or reacting to your social media, then ghost, block and delete him.

 

Don't retain odd people in your life because sooner or later, they will become your endless headaches and stress. You don't need that in your life.

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Lambert: that's just the thing. He is not paying me less attention. In fact, he goes out of his way to get my attention if I so much as accept his ignoring.

 

I'm just finding it all confusing and tiresome.

 

I would be happy if he found himself a partner, to be fair.

 

I do appreciate your advice, btw.

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Hi Holly,

 

No, we have not met in person. We have had video calls, etc., and share a lot of friends. His bad behaviour is the way in which he know chooses to talk. Sometimes it is a bit 'street', if you get what I mean. He never did this before. It's like he's getting involved with a bad crowd, but not saying.

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Lambert: that's just the thing. He is not paying me less attention. In fact, he goes out of his way to get my attention if I so much as accept his ignoring.

 

I'm just finding it all confusing and tiresome.

 

I would be happy if he found himself a partner, to be fair.

 

I do appreciate your advice, btw.

 

He is not paying attention to you in any way that resembles a person wanting to get to know another person to develop a friendship. Reminds me of flaky people I know who will go MIA and then like one of my facebook comments in a group we're in or post "how are you" as if i'm going to tell the person on a public thread. That's not "attention" that has anything to do with being interested in you as a person.

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Take more control of your life and stop responding to any texts that make you uncomfortable especially from strangers you hardly know over social media. From what you've described this person sounds like he's busy with a life and that is all. If you don't like the way he's speaking to you though, you can choose to opt out.

 

Keep nurturing your other real time relationships in real life. This means looking for other ways to connect with people and situations that you can vet better or understand more clearly. Don't set yourself up for 'tricks' or strange behaviour.

 

Take care.

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LikeWater:

 

There was a time when we equally used to message first. Then he stopped replying straight away, so I thought it best for me to back off and give him space. But when I do that, after a few days he's bombarding me with private messages.

 

When he sends a message first or I reply, like I always do, he then ignores that message for a couple of days. That is my only reason now for not messaging first.

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Seems like one or both of you has a crush.. It doesn't feel like your other male friendships for that reason. Never have I 'liked' a bunch of photos of a friend on sociaal media, and I've never been bothered about their messaging patterns.

 

Do you typically care about these kinds of things with friends?

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Batya33:

 

But, when I ignore him he bombards my inbox.

 

Yes but again he's not doing that because he wants to get to know you as a person - or become a closer friend. He's doing that just like a young child keeps saying mommy mommy mommy because she's on the phone or heaven forbid took a minute to pee or sip some still hot coffee. He can "bombard" all he likes. You can only control what you do in reaction. If you don't like the bombarding block him. I am positive he is interested in you sexually.

 

He's not your friend at this point. He's a new chat buddy at most. The toxicity is how you are treating the situation.

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"Out of bounds" doesn't exist to some people. I just don't feel like you should have to be doing all these mental gymnastics. Maybe he'll return to acting how he used to, but maybe this is an early sign of problems and drama. Who's to really say?

 

Let him be him and you be you and, if it feels like it's not a healrthy friendship, then leave it in the past.

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I'm assuming you have a bf or husband which is why you told him you're not available. What would your SO think if they knew you wrote 7 paragraphs about this guy, trying to puzzle out his behavior? You entertained continuing with communication with a guy you knew was initially into you, when you could've stopped for the good of your primary relationship.

 

When a former group friend who I knew when we were teens requested my friendship on Facebook, I gladly accepted. When he PMed me something inappropriate, knowing I was married, I immediately delete him as a friend. I don't need the ego boost and I don't need to behave inappropriately in my marriage.

 

Even if he no longer sent you romantic messages, the fact it began that way would make him, in my eyes with the moral compass I have, no longer platonic friend material. I wouldn't want my husband messaging a woman I don't know who wanted more when they'd first met online. So I definitely wouldn't do that to him either.

 

He's basically a stranger, and you're wasting all of this mental energy tying yourself up in knots over him. Look hard at why you're allowing this and see what better activities and/or better people are more worthy of your time.

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Batya33 and LikeWater:

 

 

I hear what you say. It's not healthy for any of us. I do thinks he's playing and I've allowed it. I really liked him as a friend and considered him as a brother. I forgot to mention he evens calls me during early hours, on occasions.

 

I do need take control of myself as this situation is weighing me down.

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In his defence he didn't know I was married. He seemed to accept that. My SO has also become his friend, and is aware of his behaviour.

Interesting. What does your husband say about this? Again I say, if the vibe is off, then block and delete ALL contact. I don't understand why you continue with him. You really don't even know this guy at all, so why invest so much time/energy into him when he seems to stress you out? Do you have a crush on him?

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