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Hi everyone,

I have a platonic friend who I think is like a best friend to me. However, we don't really match in our personalities. She came into my life years ago when I was single. She grew up cuddling her mom and brother and always having girl nights, painting each other's toes, watching movies with her other girl friends, etc, even as an adult. I grew up not cuddled much by my mother past my childhood years, solitary in all years of school, and used to being on my own. I am a true introvert in every way, preferring to stay by myself as much as possible.

 

When I was single, I did go over to her house once a week and just visited her two young children and her husband, and even watched movies with her occasionally, but I honestly wasn't too much fan of doing any of those things. I like sitting and talking with her over tea, but the movies I didn't really like. I did it for her, because I do care about her, I really do. She had supported me through family problems/death and has been so loyal to me when I had no other friend.

 

A big issue came up a couple years back, when she wanted to cuddle with me on the couch, and get in her 25 second long bear hugs with me. It took lots of arguing and communication for her to finally back down from the cuddling with me. For her, it's an expression of friendship, but for me, it is weird and I don't like physical intimacy, however platonic, with another woman. A man, of course, I thrive on it, but not with women. She would tell me her emotional connection can only be reached through physical connection. I of course cannot understand this, but eventually we compromised and I gave her her ridiculously long hugs.

 

She doesn't work, as her husband makes 6 figures, she home-schools her kids now in the mornings, and she would often gripe for years about her husband not meeting her emotional needs. Their arguments often stemmed from her wanting time away from him for her emotionally supportive girls, and he conflicted with that, claiming she never cooked any meals or cleaned the house and she had all that free time.

 

Fast forward to a year and a half ago, when I met my boyfriend. He's chill, and I am chill, and we just click for the most part, and every weekend I would go to see him. My friend was pretty chill about my visiting my boyfriend, but she still gave me a hard time when she felt I wasn't making enough time to see her every single week. I told her that I have a drive to see my boy, but not as much of a desire to physically spend time with her...it was a hard convo and I am not sure if I was wrong but I laid it out to her and she eventually backed off...but then again, I did make time to see her.

 

Enter pandemic, and immediately she was whining and crying about how we only took outside walks with each other and not hour long hugs and vising her house with two vulnerable children and husband. It was the same old thing with her, and I even went to putting on ponchos to finally hug her. After the months of pandemic were finally abated a little, I took up seeing my boy again, landed a full time teaching job physically in a school in September, and of course this was drama with her, wondering why I only see her for an hour or two per week and I spend whole weekends with him. I take walks with her, spend time with her outside, and she is claiming it is not enough; she wants me to be there in her house, watching movies with her. She is not alone; she has two young children and a husband, and it just doesn't sit right with me. She also has many other close friends, and they have jobs. etc and only visit her maybe once a month. For me, she must see me every week or she sulks. She even wrote me all about this to my work email one time, which made me raging mad. She craves female presence in her male only household.

 

Suddenly, I am having a markedly low desire to even talk to her anymore, and it started after her crying to me about how our walks are not enough, and after sending me a sob story about how we don't' watch movies. I am mentally exhausted from teaching at my new job, and often work into the evening hours, composing music for the kids and writing lesson plans. I drive over hour to work and drive over an hour back, and last thing I want is to sit and talk with her when I talked for 6 hours straight. I hate her always ALWAYS comparing my relationship with my boy to her. I just want to be alone for some reason, and I can't figure it out. My boyfriend makes me feel differently. I feel relaxed with him; not so much my friend, and i can't understand why. Is this my issue? What's wrong with me? Should I suck it up?

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OMG you need to "break up" with this woman! She is suffocating you and you obviously dont like it. You sound so mis-matched as friends and you dont even seem to actually like her. I think you should back out of this "friendship" that is just not working. If you cant tell her this then you need to stat being unavailable anytime she calls or emails you.

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No, you shouldn't suck it up. Your friendship worked for a time. Now, you've grown apart from her, and she shouldn't be demanding time from you. As for me, I don't have time for a zillion friends. I have one friend I get together with regularly, and a few more, less often. I have a hobby I engage in twice a month with 5 others, I have my grandkids and father to spend time with, and like my alone time and time with my husband. I also have a job, and sometimes have forced overtime. I can't handle any more than that. I would be grouchy.

 

A friend who makes you feel bad for turning down your invitation is rude. I'm the type of friend who asks a friend to do something, and if they turn me down, I think the ball is in their court to ask me to do something next. If they don't, I let the friendship fade away, but I never feel as though a conversation needs to take place. A person's behavior, action or non-action, alls you all you need to know.

 

You don't have to feel obligated to stay friends with anybody. You have two choices. You can either tell her how your friendship will be on your terms and if she complains, you can't be friends anymore. Or, you can tell her that you appreciate her being a friend, but now your life has changed and you think it's best to go your separate ways.

 

Good luck.

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She doesn't sound like a stable person at all. And that's probably why she doesn't work outside the home -many people work outside the home even if their spouse makes a lot of $ - sometimes it's a volunteer position rather than paid but many people like to work and/or want their own money/financial independence -sounds like she chooses to isolate herself, to be at home, to home school her kids as part of her instability. No I'm not saying someone who doesn't work and is at home homeschooling is unstable -I'm saying it's probably part of her general instability. Please keep your distance from her or she could start to impact your life and your relationship in harmful ways. If she seems to need professional help you can do the thoughtful thing and refer her to a therapist but even if you feel some benefit from this -like powerful, or like you're "helping" her - this is just too creepy.

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Thanks ladies. So do you think her requests about me visiting her are alienating me from her?

I admit I feel resentful and also a terrible friend when she points out, but you spend all weekend with him and watch movies and you don’t watch movies with me? She’s always pointing out how I’m different with my boyfriend. It’s making me feel awful and it’s also making me feel obligated to see her. I would want to see her on my own volition, not just guilt tripped into visiting.

She says she has a right to bring up her feelings to me, and I know she’s right. I’m just feeling mad for some reason.

The thing is, I COULD make time to see her. I know that. Whenever I do, I feel stressed though. I’m just trying to work out why I just don’t want to see her. I like talking with her but I just don’t want to visit.

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I think you have a really odd idea of what it means to have a friendship. And to think you're a terrible friend because you're not acceding to her constant and unreasonable demands. She does not have a "right" to bring up her feelings whenever she feels like it. She doesn't have a "right" to dump on you/overwhelm you etc. When people have feelings they need to express they -if they are stable -choose a time and a place that is appropriate and sometimes they reconsider whether it's a good idea or fair since we all have feelings that are negative that then pass -we resolve them on our own. Do you have a "right" to vent to your boyfriend every time he does something slightly annoying? Like if he was on a business call or sleeping or watching a movie and you felt annoyed do you have a right -right then -to make him stop what he's doing so you can "express your feelings?

 

 

Of course you can make time to see her. But you have a life and you have priorities. You don't want to see her because she is physically and emotionally overbearing. She's an emotional vampire. That is why.

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I think she's controlling you and manipulating you possibly because she doesn't think she has control in other areas of her life. You're the one aspect she has the most say in because you let her...

 

Take care of yourself. This isn't a friendship anymore.

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The woman is an emotional 12 year old, and there's no way that I'd indulge that--especially in a pandemic.

 

I treasure my walks with friends these days, or porch lunches or phone cocktails, but I haven't even hugged my own family members since the Covid in February.

 

I'd tell her that I'm physically and emotionally exhausted from navigating the new job in a pandemic, and I'm not spending time with her or anyone else these days. I'd stop telling her anything about my social, romantic or family life, and if she complains about my boundaries, I'd tell her that she has the time and money to work that out with a therapist, but I'm not playing.

 

No dramatic breakup, no answering whiney emails or texts, and my phone rule would be that if she doesn't have nice things to say, she can hold off on dialing until she does--my complaint department is closed.

 

I had to shut down a long time friend this summer, and I've had peace ever since--at least to whatever degree our scary politics and raging pandemic can be peaceful.

 

Head high, and don't allow a grown adult to manipulate you by acting like an infant.

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You and her don't match on many levels. Her ideas of friendship, do not match up with yours. Which normally is okay with most people if they don't always agree on everything.

 

The problem comes in when she starts demanding, starts forcing you to be what she wants, starts guilting you and so on. It's very unfair tactics, not to mention toxic.

She is also forcing you to be as she wants, act as she wants, and dismisses your thoughts, needs, feelings.

 

When things go this way, then you know it's not a healthy friendship any longer. You have tried to talk to her about it all, you have tried to explain why you are the way you are, what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with. You've even tried explaining your situation with your boyfriend (which honestly, is none of her business and you shouldn't ever feel the need to explain that kind of stuff to a friend).

 

The hug thing and cuddling thing, honestly made me cringe. She should never push someone into any kind of physical acts they are not comfortable with.

I personally am a hugger, but a 25 second hug? That's awkward to say the least and not something I think many would be okay with. She's being overbearing with that and she again should never force that kind of stuff on people.

 

Friendships are meant to be happy, something that brings you joy, comfort, support. You should be looking forward to spending time with a friend and leave, feeling uplifted.

If you're not feeling those things, then it's time to distance yourself from this person. But to be honest, she sounds forceful and that would be enough for a lot of people to walk away.

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Are either of you bisexual?

 

Honestly from your post I was thinking is this woman bisexual and maybe she has romantic feelings for you? I just don't really understand why she's so obsessed with seeing you every single week and wants to cuddle on the couch super long. And why she's being so clingy and seems jealous of your relationship with her boyfriend. She has her own family and other friends so it seems weird to me that she's attached to you to this extent. It doesn't actually seem healthy. She seems way too attached to you.

 

I'm actually bisexual myself but I don't even really hug my female friends that much. I don't cuddle with any friends on the couch because that's a couple thing to do. I don't think you owe any explanations to your friend because you're in a relationship and busy working. You can see her whenever you can but I don't think you owe it to her to see her every single week. Also I think she was being very unreasonable during COVID quarantine, saying that you should sit with her and cuddle on the couch! That's quite irresponsible and breaking quarantine rules.

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I think this woman is in love with you, OP.

 

I'm not saying that to be funny or flippant, either. It genuinely appears she has a strong romantic attachment to you and has been trying to squeeze it out of you for years.

 

And where the heck is your own backbone? Why are you going along with this? For me, it would have stopped the moment she demanded physical affection and cuddles from me. There would have been no arguments or communication about it. A simple, "no, sorry, I'm not comfortable with that." And there sure as hell would be no Hug Poncho.

 

This whole situation is just so bizarre.

 

You need to extract yourself from this toxic friendship and work on identifying and asserting your own boundaries. That's largely what got you here.

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I think this woman is in love with you, OP.

 

I'm not saying that to be funny or flippant, either. It genuinely appears she has a strong romantic attachment to you and has been trying to squeeze it out of you for years.

 

And where the heck is your own backbone? Why are you going along with this? For me, it would have stopped the moment she demanded physical affection and cuddles from me. There would have been no arguments or communication about it. A simple, "no, sorry, I'm not comfortable with that." And there sure as hell would be no Hug Poncho.

 

This whole situation is just so bizarre.

 

You need to extract yourself from this toxic friendship and work on identifying and asserting your own boundaries. That's largely what got you here.

 

Yes, boundaries are important. As I mentioned, I'm bisexual myself but I wouldn't cuddle my female friends. I don't even hug most of them. Even if I did it would just be a quick hug, like "Hi, good to see you". Cuddling very long on the couch while watching movies is a romantic thing to do. I'm pretty sure someone would only want to do that if they were attracted and/or had feelings for that person. And the fact that she gets upset when she doesn't get the cuddles! Super weird! Not platonic would be my guess.

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Thanks ladies. So do you think her requests about me visiting her are alienating me from her?

I admit I feel resentful and also a terrible friend when she points out, but you spend all weekend with him and watch movies and you don’t watch movies with me? She’s always pointing out how I’m different with my boyfriend. It’s making me feel awful and it’s also making me feel obligated to see her. I would want to see her on my own volition, not just guilt tripped into visiting.

She says she has a right to bring up her feelings to me, and I know she’s right. I’m just feeling mad for some reason.

The thing is, I COULD make time to see her. I know that. Whenever I do, I feel stressed though. I’m just trying to work out why I just don’t want to see her. I like talking with her but I just don’t want to visit.

 

Wow.....it seems somewhere along the way you've completely forgotten that friendships are OPTIONAL. You spend time with people whose company you enjoy and you walk away from those who make you uncomfortable. It's that simple.

 

This woman has been bullying you and manipulating you for years. So much so that this doesn't sound like any kind of a normal friendship, but rather some kind of a weird, toxic, codependent mess. She tells you she needs to physically touch you to feel an emotional connection and you compromise on that despite realizing that this is weird.....wth... It IS beyond weird and the answer isn't to compromise but to assert your boundaries and if that doesn't work, walk away. Friendships are OPTIONAL. If a friend is creeping you out with their behaviors and demands, you simply distance yourself from them or just plain walk away.

 

You don't actually have any obligations to her and that's something you need to wrap your head around for your own sake and sanity. As for her having the right to tell you how she feels, sure she has that right. Do you know what right you have? Refuse to listen. Yes, you have a right to walk away and not listen to someone's drivel, especially when it's manipulative and causes you harm or distress. Friendships are OPTIONAL.

 

You have to go to work and deal with nasty co-workers and unreasonable bosses, you have to pay your rent and your electric bill, you have to smile at crazy Aunt Sue at family gatherings, but one thing in life that you don't have to deal with are friends whose company you don't enjoy. Friendships are always optional. Have I said that enough? I hope so. Long past due for you to get rid of this toxic woman you call a friend and instead find and spend time with those whose company you actually enjoy because that's what friendships are about.

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I can relate! I have a long time friend that was always very needy for attention.

 

My advice is to honor your feelings. She is not respecting your boundaries or your feelings. And since she can't, you have to enforce yours.

 

I think you need to just be honest with her that she is putting you off and if she wants to maintain the friendship, she needs to respect your right to your feelings.

 

that's what I've been doing with my friend. its hard. I know she has anxiety and is worried or whatever about our friendship. but! that's on her! I have done nothing wrong. if someone treats me in a way that I don't like, I'm free to pull away.

 

I'm not rude to her and I try not to bluntly tell her what her problems are. that's all on her. I do feel guilty at times because I don't want to hurt any of my friends. but it's come to a point where she just wants me to be there for her, accept that she feels bad, but she refuses to change. the truth is I don't think she can.

 

she has set up her entire life to be the weak victim, everyone else has to over compensate for and its draining as all heck.

 

stay strong. you're not a bad friend. you deserve to have your needs and boundaries honored, too.

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I can relate too.

I became friends with a lovely lady that I met at a Meetup group. Her Husband had passed away 2 years before I met her.

We would meet for lunches & chats which was great. We even went on a cruise, and an overseas trip.

She then lost her job, so started job seeking & contacting me on Messenger a few times a day for advice.

This turned into constant messaging & complaining about everything in her life. Every drama her adult children became involved in became a source of constant messaging.

It got to the point where I would grimace when I heard my phone ping.

I had to tell her to stop messaging me at work, as I was too busy to answer. I had 10 unread messages that day.

 

The day I lost it was the minute I finished work the messaging started. She must have been watching the clock.

 

I understand she was lonely & grieving her Husband, but I couldnt be his substitute.

 

I told her I was dealing with some things, so going to be off Facebook & Messenger for a little while. She asked what she could do & I said "nothing"

Her response was to send me another 10 messages saying that she "needed to be there" for me," friends support each other" etc etc etc. it was suffocating, so I deleted Messenger & havent been on since.

 

She obviously got the message,as I havent heard from her since. I miss her, but cant deal with her clingy & needy issues. :-(

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Thanks so much everyone.

I am not bi; I am a totally straight woman. I never had the responsibility of maintaining a friendship with a woman, and now that my friend is asking that of me, I’m turned off I guess. I feel a boyfriend is a more important responsibility, because it could lead to marriage, he’s my other half, etc.

I have had other friends who are girls who are totally fine with me visiting once every two months or something. I never had a girl whine and feel dismissed if I didn’t see her. So, it makes me uncomfortable and feel like I am in an awkward relationship with her.

She claims she wants to be on the same level of priority as my boyfriend. Is this acceptable for her to ask?

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She claims she wants to be on the same level of priority as my boyfriend. Is this acceptable for her to ask?

 

This is weird.

 

you determine the level someone holds in your life. Set some boundaries. If she can't respect that, than she isn't respecting you. Therefore, not a good friend.

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Thanks so much everyone.

I am not bi; I am a totally straight woman. I never had the responsibility of maintaining a friendship with a woman, and now that my friend is asking that of me, I’m turned off I guess. I feel a boyfriend is a more important responsibility, because it could lead to marriage, he’s my other half, etc.

I have had other friends who are girls who are totally fine with me visiting once every two months or something. I never had a girl whine and feel dismissed if I didn’t see her. So, it makes me uncomfortable and feel like I am in an awkward relationship with her.

She claims she wants to be on the same level of priority as my boyfriend. Is this acceptable for her to ask?

 

The more you speak about her the more I wonder about her relationship with her husband. Realistically this isn't something you should be delving too deep into either as it's none of your business. I didn't have the impression either of you were bi or in the closet, only that she's seeking to fill a void that a partner should be filling instead, not a friend. Her keenness or desperation with you is also so high that even if she were interested in you romantically, she'd at least express some care and consideration for you as an individual and a person. She just... totally lacks that and appears lost in her own world.

 

Maybe this is your cue to be a little sharper and smarter where it concerns individuals in your life. She is a friend and you don't have to cut her out but I do think it's high time you set some boundaries. Some individuals just do not know when to take no for an answer. They are pushy and aggressive if they don't get their way. If she refuses to respect you or treats you like a slave or makes demands of you, slanders you or involves herself in your other friendships and relationships vengefully or recklessly, I think it's all the more reason to keep a polite and cordial distance. Learn to let go. I think part of the problem is you worried of letting a bad situation go.

 

Hope this resolves itself and you're able to find some peace.

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