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Very Confusing Signals


S.Ash
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Hi there guys,

I was hoping for a bit of clarity regarding some very confusing signals (at least to me) that I am getting from a friend.

I am 25 and she is 23 going on 24 we have worked with and known each other for a year and a few months.

We worked in separate areas at work with little interaction until about 7 months ago. We always got on well but didn't spend much time together. 

For the past 7 months we have been working alot together and our friendship has grown very close, spending time outside of work with each other and socialising in groups as well as alone together.

I greatly value our friendship and really enjoy the time we spend together, we really seem to connect and get along like a house on fire.

She has a boyfriend. They have been together for 5 years, he currently lives a little distance away from her so they only see each other once every week or two. This has been her only serious relationship and has never been romantically involved with anyone else.

She has told me that whilst their relationship isn't stale and doesn't have any issues, she is nervous about taking the next steps as she may never know if this is 'it' or whether or not there are other things to explore and experience out there. She confided this to me and to ask my advice, having never told anybody else at all.

This is where it's starts to get difficult for me. 

Right from the off she is an extremely beautiful girl, very witty and great fun to be around. Whilst I have always been attracted to her, my feelings towards her have grown and grown the past months. The more I work with, see and spend time with her, the more I fall in love with her. 

Now I am not naiive when it comes to girls ect, I have had my share of relationships until now, but nothing lasting more than a year and a half.

That is why when she asked me, I knew the right thing to do was to offer her my honest advice, all of my feelings aside. I told her that she was very lucky to have found someone and to still be together after five years with no problems. I also said that you will never know everything that is out there, even if you go looking and that is the way of life, I she really loves him, she should consider herself lucky and carry on.

All until now has been somewhat cut and dry for me, but the at the back end of last year when sitting with friends drinking, she reached out to grab my hand under the blanket, holding it tight.

I thought that this was just a friendly hand hold, as some girls do with men that they trust and are comfortable around, but she soon started linking her fingers in and caressing my hand. Again I thought it was just her being friendly. 

Now two months down the line, whenever we are spending time together she will find my hand under the table or under a blanket and do the same, gripping tightly, weaving fingers, tracing circles and caressing my thigh. The main confusion for me is that she hides it from everyone, making me think that she clearly doesn't want to be seen doing this, perhaps hinting that she knows that she shouldn't be but still is? If the blanket falls down or other friends walk behind where we are sitting she will quickly let go and pull back.

She is always willing to hang out, whether it's just the two of us or with others, but if I sit away from her, she will come and sit next to or near me everytime.

This is so confusing for me as she is always talking about her boyfriend (never anything negative), yet I catch her looking at me across the room and giving the signs that I would think means that she wants something more.

I don't want to tread on any toes or put her in an awkward position by asking her about this. I would say yes in a heartbeat to dating her if I had the chance but it feels wrong to want this when she is in a commited long term relationship. Should I tell her how I feel about her? Should I just ignore it and carry on? Or should I try and disconnect and pull back from this whole thing? Either way it will be difficult because of how I feel about her and I would really appreciate some outside opinion or input.

 

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18 minutes ago, S.Ash said:

She has a boyfriend.

 

She is in a relationship. Don´t hang out with her, just stay away. Remind her that she has a boyfriend whenever she would want to hang out with you. It is really not all that confusing.

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Imagine if you were dating her and she started working with a cute guy -wouldn't you be concerned that if she felt dissatisfied with you she'd play footsie under the table while out drunk with her coworker?  I think you avoid personal interactions with her and if she ends things with her boyfriend and seems ready to date ask her out (likely if you're no longer working so closely with her).

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Yes you should speak to her but not about you being in love with her which realistically you are not in love with her but are in love with the idea of her.

  You should tell her that you value the friendship you have but the hand holding is making you feel uncomfortable as it is changing your feelings from friendship to romantic towards her and since she has a bf that is disrespectful of you to feel that way towards her.

  So far you have walked a thin line line staying respectful of her relationship so don't tarnish that with some backsided move hoping she will dump him for you.  You need to be honest with yourself and admit that is what you want.  Just because you want that doesn't mean you should act on it so keep your thoughts of confessing your love to her to yourself but let her know the hand holding shouldn't continue.

  It sucks being the good guy sometimes but that is who you need to be.

Do the right thing

  Lost

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39 minutes ago, S.Ash said:

She has a boyfriend. They have been together for 5 years, he currently lives a little distance away from her so they only see each other once every week or two.

If you want to hang out as the male-girlfriend, fine, but she's just filling in time between his visits.

Step way back from this. Date other women. Don't be her teddybear.

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40 minutes ago, S.Ash said:

The main confusion for me is that she hides it from everyone, making me think that she clearly doesn't want to be seen doing this, perhaps hinting that she knows that she shouldn't be but still is?

My main confusion is why are you letting her hold your hand and touch your leg? Seems a simple way to end the matter.

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Thank you for all your replies.

It can be hard to see when you are over thinking everything and churning things over in your mind. It's so helpful to just hear it from other perspectives.

 

Thank you all again!

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What is so confusing? She was very young, met somebody who is her first boyfriend but now they are long distance and now wants to see what else is out there. It was quite a common occurance for example, at my University. Not moral at all, but common. 20s are where you would want to experiment and experience stuff like that. 

However, yes, you should be the one to put the stop to that. Whether she just wants the adventure or something more, you shouldnt be a part of it. She has a boyfriend. After she breaks up, maybe. But now its just wrong. Even after, well, I wouldnt recommend dating a close friend. Unless you are ready to probabably not hang out ever again if it goes wrong. Even worst if you are part of bigger company. It gets pretty ankward if it doesnt work out. 

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Typical girl enjoying attention. The minute you make a move, she's gonna pretend she is shocked, and say she loves her BF. She's probably confused too...bad timing/feeling lonely/etc. Back off and make yourself a little less attentive. Don't participate in wrecking someones relationship.

Maybe down the road, and they breakup, have att'r

Edited by smackie9
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The secret hand-holding is not something women do with male friends, OP.

This girl is playing with fire. I would tell her that because you respect her relationship, the secret touching cannot continue. The same goes for close hang-outs or personal chats. 

She needs to make a decision about her relationship and not use you for sneaky thrills because she's bored or curious about what else is out there. You would be well-served by taking space from her before this all blows up because someone catches these secret caresses and calls her out or tells her boyfriend. 

When and if she makes herself single, then you could reassess if you'd like to explore something more. 

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4 hours ago, S.Ash said:

Right from the off she is an extremely beautiful girl, very witty and great fun to be around. Whilst I have always been attracted to her, my feelings towards her have grown and grown the past months. The more I work with, see and spend time with her, the more I fall in love with her. 

Then maybe you should stop this.  She is not available.

 

4 hours ago, S.Ash said:

All until now has been somewhat cut and dry for me, but the at the back end of last year when sitting with friends drinking, she reached out to grab my hand under the blanket, holding it tight.

Ok, where's her BF in this?  It should be his hand she grabs... No one else's.

 

4 hours ago, S.Ash said:

Now two months down the line, whenever we are spending time together she will find my hand under the table or under a blanket and do the same, gripping tightly, weaving fingers, tracing circles and caressing my thigh

Ok, and this is where YOU pull back away and be respectful- saying to her enough.  She is NOT involved with  you.

 

4 hours ago, S.Ash said:

I don't want to tread on any toes or put her in an awkward position by asking her about this. I would say yes in a heartbeat to dating her if I had the chance but it feels wrong to want this when she is in a commited long term relationship. Should I tell her how I feel about her?

No. You should back off this gal, totally.  You BOTH need to learn healthy boundaries.  IF she were to split with him, you'd most likely be her rebound anyways.. they never last & hurt!

Honestly, how would she feel if her BF acted like this with another woman?  😕 

 

And as Batya mentioned, imagine her being with you and learning she was acting this way with another guy?  Not so nice, is it?  Back off & tell her enough- yuo can't do this anymore.  ( If she respected her BF, she wouldn't be like this with anyone else!)

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Always remember this - if she will do it with you, she will do it to you. So learn to stay far away from women who will behave poorly behind their bf's back because they will totally do the same to you should you become the bf. It's the kind of behavior that should cause you to lose respect for her.

In terms of boundaries for opposite sex friends, keep it same as your male friends. Would you be OK if a guy friend of yours started holding hands or caressing your thigh? No? Then stop it cold when a woman does it too. Don't allow friendships to get weird like that because in the end, other women who would like to date you, will look at that and go, "Nope and next."

Remember that women like men who have boundaries, values, and self respect and will enforce all three. Likewise, they don't respect or see guys who will just roll over and do whatever as bf material. This really goes for all people and all sexes. You just cannot respect someone who will let you wipe your feet on them. So never be a doormat.

 

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