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thembo

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Okay so Max and I met on bumble, but immediately after matching they were back to living in New York and I was still out at school in Minnesota. We never met in person, but were fast friends. We flirted, but I was clear that I didn't want a long distance relationship. We were both seeing people, and Max soon started a monogamous relationship. I was pleased, but didn't hear much about their partner. I regularly pressed Max not to flirt with me, as it was confusing to me since we were not in a romantic relationship. But I valued our friendship, and knew that there were feelings I couldn't quite pinpoint between us, despite knowing that I didn't want to pursue them I felt partially at fault for the flirtatious vibe.

 

Eventually I moved back home to Philadelphia. I asked Max if I could come visit them for a day trip. New York is only a few hour drive and I've regularly taken greyhounds for a fun full day adventure. We planned it out so that I would have a morning/early afternoon of museums and then catch up with them for a bookstore stroll and dinner with their partner when they finished work. They mentioned that their partner was uncomfortable with our friendship and so wanted to be there for dinner. I said that made sense, it did, I knew where we met..

 

Well the day comes along and the walk through the bookstore is great. We've bonded over our love of poetry and so we quickly find our way there and are passing books back and forth. It is nice to be able to be quiet with each other because we've only ever been on the phone where there is pressure to keep talking. We meet with their partner for dinner and on the way I have the sense that there is tension. Max apologizes that we can't spend more time. I say it's no big deal. I'm excited but nervous to meet their partner. I want her to like me.

 

When we arrive at dinner she kisses Max very deeply, and then does not let go of their hand for most of the meal. Even pouting when they let go to eat their sandwich. She also did not make eye contact with me the entire time. It was clear that her intention was not to get to know me. I created fear for her and she was laying her claim. I was uncomfortable, and left at the first opportunity.

 

Max called me the next day and said that we couldn't talk for awhile. They told me that their partner was handling trauma from having partners cheat on her in the past and that it was their fault for not being more honest about our friendship. They also said that she didn't see a way that the two of them could have a relationship while Max and I remained friends. I asked if Max was okay with that and they said that they didn't think it would be like this forever.

 

About a month later I sent them a message saying that I was removing them from my social media because the daily reminders were painful, but that I was still ready to accept them back into my life whenever they wanted. They never responded to that. We have not spoken since. In a recent state of depression I checked their social media accounts to discover that they have gotten engaged with this partner.

 

I know it's almost certainly not my place, but I'm genuinely concerned that it was an abusive relationship. My saying something could potentially just make it worse. I'm not interested in a relationship with Max (I'm in my own monogamous relationship now), but they were a good friend and person and I worry that they are being hurt and asked to cut people out of their lives. I just don't know if they have anyone there to ask them if they are okay. I want to know if they are okay. What do I do?

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Why do you think this is an abusive relationship?

 

To me, it sounds like the girlfriend was rightly concerned about your presence in Max’s life and wanted some boundaries drawn. That is not abuse. That is about having respect for a relationship.

 

So, should you try to break them up? Hon, stay in your lane and take a seat. If Max wanted to be with you, they would be with you. You’re over-estimating your allure here. Don’t be that person who doesn’t know how to take “no thanks” for an answer.

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For the love of God, leave this alone. He is in a relationship, what do you not get? You also need to garner up some self respect and only pursue available men.

 

This guy is no prize if he is flirting with you, and I would bet money you are not the only girl he flirts with.

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Are you sure you're genuinely concerned that it was an abusive relationship, or you're just telling yourself that because you're jealous that Max is engaged? I actually see no signs of an abusive relationship from anything you said. Above all, you don't actually know Max's partner and you also basically don't even know Max. And you don't know anything about their relationship.

 

I'm sorry if I sound sceptical but in real life you actually met Max only once. And not for that long by the sounds of it. I don't actually think you can truly know someone that you don't know in real life because without being a part of their life, there are so many things about them that you just don't see. You need to spend time with someone in person to know the real them and to know if you have a true connection. When you only talk to someone online it's more a fantasy about them that you've created in your mind. Obviously you only see the good sides of that person and you're looking at them through rose coloured glasses.

 

Also you wrote this: "But I valued our friendship, and knew that there were feelings I couldn't quite pinpoint between us, despite knowing that I didn't want to pursue them I felt partially at fault for the flirtatious vibe." So obviously you did have feelings for Max and you were contributing to the flirting. So to be fair your interest in each other wasn't only friendship. Max's partner could obviously tell this was the case and that's why she was jealous and didn't want you and Max talking anymore. Which is actually understandable because it's not just platonic friendship between you and Max. You can't blame Max for cutting you off. Of course they're going to care more about their actual real life fiancee than just a person they were talking to online.

 

I'm actually shocked that the title of your post is: "Should I break them up?" The answer is clearly "no"! Thinking about breaking them up is very selfish on your part! To me it seems like Max as much more than just a friend. If you're in a relationship of your own and meant to be monogamous then why are you still chasing after Max? You have a real life person you're dating right in front of you and you're thinking of trying to get Max back. You should be focusing on the person you're actually dating and leave Max alone. Let Max focus on their own life and their engagement. Even if Max still wanted to be friends, it's not possible to just be friends because clearly you want more. Max is with someone else so the friendship was probably just going to hurt you eventually.

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Leave them alone.

 

You're putting your nose in where it doesn't belong. You and Max had a flirtation and it wasn't strictly platonic and his partner knew it. She is now with him and does not want you part of the picture. Max chose her, so you need to now respect their relationship and leave him alone.

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Holy cow! MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Leave them alone, and by "them" I mean the two of them. Your habit of calling him them or they makes your post so hard to read. Why do you do that?

 

It's not up to you who he dates or gets engaged to. If she is bad news, he will figure that out sooner or later. Focus on your own life.

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You both engaged in a flirtacious ongoing friendship, which is basically cheating on his now girlfriend. But yet when the gf picks up on this, her obvious and legitimate discomfort with your presense is blamed on a past trauma? please. .

 

I have to say I am super confused by your reasoning here and you want advice as to whether you should break them up?

You are not his friend.

Get busy with your own life and leave these two alone.

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Can I ask why you feel so concerned or protective over Max? Have you been in an abusive relationship or are you in an abusive relationship right now? Were you a child of parents who were abusive? I don't think your concerns are wrong but I think they way you're pushing into their relationship is inappropriate and your worries are misplaced.

 

If Max knew his partner was uncomfortable around you he never should have agreed to communicate or meet with you in the first place.

 

I'm more curious about you and where your thoughts are coming from.

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Why do you refer to Max as "they" and "them"? If it's a same sex relationship, trust me, no one here will give you a hard time about it. We are all very accepting of everyone.

 

That being said, where did you come up with the idea that Max's relationship is abusive?

 

I think they is the newer way to refer to someone where you don't want to highlight the person's gender. Not my thing but I think that is why.

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Can I just point out though that there is a thing as non-binary or gender fluid it's a gender identity which is part of being GLBTIQ+. The person may not feel as strictly male or female and may prefer the pronoun "they". You can Google it if you don't know much about it. In that case it's disrespectful to say that the person should just be called a "he" because it's easier. This is their gender identity and it should be respected. But again we don't actually know why OP was using "they" because OP hasn't responded anymore.

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Can I just point out though that there is a thing as non-binary or gender fluid it's a gender identity which is part of being GLBTIQ+. The person may not feel as strictly male or female and may prefer the pronoun "they". You can Google it if you don't know much about it. In that case it's disrespectful to say that the person should just be called a "he" because it's easier. This is their gender identity and it should be respected. But again we don't actually know why OP was using "they" because OP hasn't responded anymore.

 

I wanted the OP to feel welcome and that we will not judge anyone based on gender identity or sexual orientation. I didn't say to refer to Max as "he" to make it easier. I think that may have been someone else who said that.

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You're kidding, right?

 

The best way to bond others in their unity against you is to mess with their relationship.

 

Catfeeder - you always have the most amazing insight, seriously. I screenshot the quote on your profile about backing off. It has been a brilliant quote for me that I have returned to every time I need to distance myself from a situation. Not to hijack this thread but I always love reading your advice!

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