Jump to content

How can I cultivate a deeper friendship with a few friendly acquaintances that are now long distance? Without coming across as creepy / making them un


Fortnite
 Share

Recommended Posts

I (M23) graduated from college last year, and now live like 6 hrs away. Back when I was in college, I met a couple of acquaintances; a 26 year old guy that we'll call Ryan, and a 28 year old girl that we'll call Hayley, to be specific. Both Ryan and Hayley are grad students that work at the college and live in the area. Ryan, I have only seen on campus a few times walking around and chatting. Hayley, I know a little better but really only had a few interactions with in passing as well, and don't really know her well at all. They're both married by the way; I know Ryan's wife a little bit, but never met Hayley's husband, if that makes any difference. Anyways, I really wish I could've spent more time with them, but we were not in the same circles, and they were very busy people, but I regretfully never tried to ask either of them to get a meal and spend intentional time. I wish I had done that.

Anyways, while I barely know either of them, both Ryan and Hayley are people that I have been very friendly with and I think are super cool. We follow each other on Instagram and I will DM them occasionally from time to time just to see how they are doing, and sometimes chit chat but nothing serious or anything.

All that to say, I know this might sound weird, but I REALLY REALLY want to cultivate a friendship with both Ryan and Hayley, and perhaps their spouses as well if interested. However, with me living 6 hrs away now its a little difficult. My plan is that I want to make a trip back to my college town to see them. I know plenty of people still at my college that I'll try to see as well if I go, but my main reason for wanting to make a trip back to my college town for a holiday is to grab a meal with Ryan and a meal with Hayley to get to know them better and try and cultivate a friendship. Anyways, they are busy people, and I want to make sure I choose a weekend to come when they are both available and will have the time to get meals with me. My big concern is that, if I send them a text and tell them that I want to come up for the sake of spending time with them, it might make them feel very uncomfortable and push them away because both Ryan and Hayley are only acquaintances right now and they are not close friends. Do you have any advice on how I can approach this without coming off as weird / creepy, or making them uncomfortable? I think they might find it weird that I am making them so much of a priority like this that I'm making a 6 hr trip just to see them, when I barely know them. I know for a fact they don't harbor the same feelings, and I am not expecting them to, at least for a while. But I am hoping after many trips, thinking 3 years ahead, that I can be good friends with both of them.

Any advice you have? If you were either Ryan or Hayley, would you feel weird if an acquaintance was intentionally making a long trip like that for the sake of wanting to get a meal with you two? I don't mean having to be there anyways and just asking to spend time and catch up since they're already in town, but making a trip to town for the sole reason of wanting to cultivate a friendship with you. What would you think of that? Would that be a turn off for you?

The fact is, I know I don't know Ryan or Hayley that well at all, but they were both so sweet that I have developed a very strong emotional attachment to them, and really want to cultivate a friendship with both of them. I just want those people in my life so bad, even if it is at a distance and I won't be able to see them regularly. If I can even just get meals with them like 2-3 times a year, it would mean so much to me. Is this weird by any chance? Does anyone here think this is not normal of me to want this so much? I (M23) graduated from college last year, and now live like 6 hrs away. Back when I was in college, I met a couple of acquaintances; a 26 year old guy that we'll call Ryan, and a 28 year old girl that we'll call Hayley, to be specific. Both Ryan and Hayley are grad students that work at the college and live in the area. Ryan, I have only seen on campus a few times walking around and chatting. Hayley, I know a little better but really only had a few interactions with in passing as well, and don't really know her well at all. They're both married by the way; I know Ryan's wife a little bit, but never met Hayley's husband, if that makes any difference. Anyways, I really wish I could've spent more time with them, but we were not in the same circles, and they were very busy people, but I regretfully never tried to ask either of them to get a meal and spend intentional time. I wish I had done that.

Anyways, while I barely know either of them, both Ryan and Hayley are people that I have been very friendly with and I think are super cool. We follow each other on Instagram and I will DM them occasionally from time to time just to see how they are doing, and sometimes chit chat but nothing serious or anything.

All that to say, I know this might sound weird, but I REALLY REALLY want to cultivate a friendship with both Ryan and Hayley, and perhaps their spouses as well if interested. However, with me living 6 hrs away now its a little difficult. My plan is that I want to make a trip back to my college town to see them. I know plenty of people still at my college that I'll try to see as well if I go, but my main reason for wanting to make a trip back to my college town for a holiday is to grab a meal with Ryan and a meal with Hayley to get to know them better and try and cultivate a friendship. Anyways, they are busy people, and I want to make sure I choose a weekend to come when they are both available and will have the time to get meals with me. My big concern is that, if I send them a text and tell them that I want to come up for the sake of spending time with them, it might make them feel very uncomfortable and push them away because both Ryan and Hayley are only acquaintances right now and they are not close friends. Do you have any advice on how I can approach this without coming off as weird / creepy, or making them uncomfortable? I think they might find it weird that I am making them so much of a priority like this that I'm making a 6 hr trip just to see them, when I barely know them. I know for a fact they don't harbor the same feelings, and I am not expecting them to, at least for a while. But I am hoping after many trips, thinking 3 years ahead, that I can be good friends with both of them.

Any advice you have? If you were either Ryan or Hayley, would you feel weird if an acquaintance was intentionally making a long trip like that for the sake of wanting to get a meal with you two? I don't mean having to be there anyways and just asking to spend time and catch up since they're already in town, but making a trip to town for the sole reason of wanting to cultivate a friendship with you. What would you think of that? Would that be a turn off for you?

The fact is, I know I don't know Ryan or Hayley that well at all, but they were both so sweet that I have developed a very strong emotional attachment to them, and really want to cultivate a friendship with both of them. I just want those people in my life so bad, even if it is at a distance and I won't be able to see them regularly. If I can even just get meals with them like 2-3 times a year, it would mean so much to me. Is this weird by any chance? Does anyone here think this is not normal of me to want this so much? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your instincts are correct, don’t tell them they are your motivation for returning. 
 

I think, plan your trip and extend invitations to both of them, these should be pretty easy to do just say ‘hey I’m coming back to town to visit and was wondering if you’d like to catch up for coffee’ Do a coffee invite first, not dinner, people are more likely to agree to coffee. 
 

You can offer a fairly wide date range like maybe you’re coming back for 2 weeks or a month (you don’t actually have to come back for this long, you’d lock in the times to see them and adjust travel dates accordingly). 
 

Make sure you catch some other people while you’re there so the trip isn’t a bust if the coffee catch ups don’t go well. 
 

And do yourself a favour, make a commensurate effort to meet some new people in your new location as well as extending these two invitations. They could be the two coolest human beings on the planet but there are also friends in your current city you haven’t met yet.!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am all about connections, I've been an active networker for 40 years (I am 56)  I have many acquaintances like this, I also have had missed opportunities. You learned a valuable lesson as you chose not to get to know either of them in person when you could have. I would not at all say you're coming for them.  That frankly would scare me if I received a message like that from a long distance acquaintance.  Especially if I was married because then I'd worry for my spouse's safety too.    

I don't think you ask for coffee - I think you ask to meet for a walk during the day so it's casual and you're doing an activity so they won't feel your intensity -unless you're a good actor if you're sitting across a table you're likely to give off desperate vibes.  And I think it's highly unlikely any sort of friendship let alone close friendhip will happen - it would be you traveling there a few times a year and risking them being too busy to see you -they have lives, spouses, and maybe kids at some point.  They are unlikely to make time for an out of town friend who visits a few times a year.  

I do have one example of an acquaintance who is now more of a friend.  He contacted me on a dating site.  We were long distance.  I ended up not meeting him for a date because our approach to a potential LDR were too different. 

But we stayed in touch by phone and I tried to set him up with other women.  Then 4 years later I moved to a city where he had family.  We met when he came to my new city to have a first date.  I was married and I invited my husband who could not come. 

We went for a walk in the park with the woman he'd just met and my baby lol.  Over the next couple of years I saw him twice more when he visited my city for his family.  We met for lunch. Then a couple of years later he became our go to person we paid for IT advice related to our son's computer. 

I am sure I will see him again in person if he comes to my city.  I would say we're personal friends - on a deeper level than acquaintances but if he had said he was coming to my new city just to meet me/get to know me I'd have told him not to come and been really put off. Also he doesn't push to be "closer" and has come to my city a couple of times when it turned out I couldn't see him and that was fine because he wasn't here primarily to see me.  

Tread carefully and lightly. Also you might be idealizing who these people are.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do find your fixation on these two people who now live a great distance away to be somewhat out of the norm. 

People who are not happy in their present tend to look back to their past to try to find it there. And those two acquaintances are essentially a part of those past college days. Even if you don't tell them you're visiting to solely try and cultivate friendships with them, they might intuit this in their guts and be scared off.

What have you done in your new town to form friendships? It's harder, once you leave college where there are numerous people on campus to potentially connect with. You have to join clubs, a sports team, or start a new hobby, etc. There will be sweet people in your area if you get out into the world to meet them. And it's a whole lot more satisfying to regularly get together with buddies versus a few times a year with a long distance friend.

My advice is to seek out friendships locally. And don't be so intense that you think you're locking down this friendship for a lifetime. Friendships often evolve in either direction. Sometimes friendships fade due to someone having children and having less time for you, or they've decided to spend more time with another friend, or they've outgrown the friendship or moved away. Good luck.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Fortnite said:

I know I don't know Ryan or Hayley that well at all, but they were both so sweet that I have developed a very strong emotional attachment to them

How did you manage this? 

It sounds like there are deeper issues at work here. You say you hardly know them, yet you are deeply emotionally attached. What are you attached to, exactly? 

16 hours ago, Fortnite said:

would you feel weird if an acquaintance was intentionally making a long trip like that for the sake of wanting to get a meal with you two?

Yes, I have to be honest that I would find it strange. I would imagine the person has idealized me in some way and that would likely make me a bit uncomfortable. I would also probably feel they are trying to force a friendship, which is not how I generally approach friendships. Letting them unfold naturally is best. 

I would suggest trying to make friends who live near you. Befriending these two and expecting you will maintain a friendship over this significant distance is just not that viable a prospect. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/3/2022 at 1:43 AM, 1a1a said:

Your instincts are correct, don’t tell them they are your motivation for returning. 
 

I think, plan your trip and extend invitations to both of them, these should be pretty easy to do just say ‘hey I’m coming back to town to visit and was wondering if you’d like to catch up for coffee’ Do a coffee invite first, not dinner, people are more likely to agree to coffee. 
 

You can offer a fairly wide date range like maybe you’re coming back for 2 weeks or a month (you don’t actually have to come back for this long, you’d lock in the times to see them and adjust travel dates accordingly). 
 

Make sure you catch some other people while you’re there so the trip isn’t a bust if the coffee catch ups don’t go well. 
 

And do yourself a favour, make a commensurate effort to meet some new people in your new location as well as extending these two invitations. They could be the two coolest human beings on the planet but there are also friends in your current city you haven’t met yet.!

I think this might actually be a good idea. Thanks so much for the tip. The only thing I just need to make sure is that those people don't get any instincts that they are the motivation for me coming. And yes, I will definitely catch some other people while there. And of course, I am seeking more people in my area as well. I love people in general, the more friends, the better!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I am all about connections, I've been an active networker for 40 years (I am 56)  I have many acquaintances like this, I also have had missed opportunities. You learned a valuable lesson as you chose not to get to know either of them in person when you could have. I would not at all say you're coming for them.  That frankly would scare me if I received a message like that from a long distance acquaintance.  Especially if I was married because then I'd worry for my spouse's safety too.    

I don't think you ask for coffee - I think you ask to meet for a walk during the day so it's casual and you're doing an activity so they won't feel your intensity -unless you're a good actor if you're sitting across a table you're likely to give off desperate vibes.  And I think it's highly unlikely any sort of friendship let alone close friendhip will happen - it would be you traveling there a few times a year and risking them being too busy to see you -they have lives, spouses, and maybe kids at some point.  They are unlikely to make time for an out of town friend who visits a few times a year.  

I do have one example of an acquaintance who is now more of a friend.  He contacted me on a dating site.  We were long distance.  I ended up not meeting him for a date because our approach to a potential LDR were too different. 

But we stayed in touch by phone and I tried to set him up with other women.  Then 4 years later I moved to a city where he had family.  We met when he came to my new city to have a first date.  I was married and I invited my husband who could not come. 

We went for a walk in the park with the woman he'd just met and my baby lol.  Over the next couple of years I saw him twice more when he visited my city for his family.  We met for lunch. Then a couple of years later he became our go to person we paid for IT advice related to our son's computer. 

I am sure I will see him again in person if he comes to my city.  I would say we're personal friends - on a deeper level than acquaintances but if he had said he was coming to my new city just to meet me/get to know me I'd have told him not to come and been really put off. Also he doesn't push to be "closer" and has come to my city a couple of times when it turned out I couldn't see him and that was fine because he wasn't here primarily to see me.  

Tread carefully and lightly. Also you might be idealizing who these people are.  

Thanks so much for the advice. I think what you say is very important. I have a few questions for you. 

I am just curious, why would you feel unsafe and be scared for your spouse's safety as well if a long distance acquaintance wanted to come to see you? I just want to understand more. I am mildly autistic and don't think the same way as most people when it comes to relationships. I am confused as to why it might make you feel unsafe and unsafe for your spouse if you were married?

I don't expect a close friendship to happen unless I move back to the area or we cross paths in a life experience somewhere else which is possible, but unlikely at the moment. But I am hoping for at least a genuine distant-lasting friendship that likely won't be super close.

Also, with the story you shared, if this guy came to your city for the main reason of getting to know you and just to meet your, why would you have been really put off? Can you describe the feeling you'd feel inside better? I am just trying to understand how other people think. More so, would you have likely created some distance between you and him if he did that and be hesitant to pursue friendship with him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Andrina said:

I do find your fixation on these two people who now live a great distance away to be somewhat out of the norm. 

People who are not happy in their present tend to look back to their past to try to find it there. And those two acquaintances are essentially a part of those past college days. Even if you don't tell them you're visiting to solely try and cultivate friendships with them, they might intuit this in their guts and be scared off.

What have you done in your new town to form friendships? It's harder, once you leave college where there are numerous people on campus to potentially connect with. You have to join clubs, a sports team, or start a new hobby, etc. There will be sweet people in your area if you get out into the world to meet them. And it's a whole lot more satisfying to regularly get together with buddies versus a few times a year with a long distance friend.

My advice is to seek out friendships locally. And don't be so intense that you think you're locking down this friendship for a lifetime. Friendships often evolve in either direction. Sometimes friendships fade due to someone having children and having less time for you, or they've decided to spend more time with another friend, or they've outgrown the friendship or moved away. Good luck.

Honestly their guts and instincts are what concern me. They are smart, and I wouldn't be surprised if they figured it out. 

I do have mild autism just so you know. Asperger's to be more specific. I do have a church and community in my area and have a few friends, but I tend to be a lot more targeted at specific people when I make friends compared to others. It's kind of a little bit like platonic infatuation with nothing more then friendship. 

IDK if I agree with you when it comes to being more satisfying to regularly get together with buddies vs a few times a year. For me its all about the quality of the person themself. Obviously the more I can see them the better, but I am very selective when it comes to friendships and look for a lot more things than most people do. 

For me a friendships is clearly: "A life lasting link of love, respect, and care between two souls", and NOT at all: "A temporary alliance that relates to a common group / interest / beliefs, and shared life experience.”

Therefore, distance really does not matter to me so much at all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

How did you manage this? 

It sounds like there are deeper issues at work here. You say you hardly know them, yet you are deeply emotionally attached. What are you attached to, exactly? 

Yes, I have to be honest that I would find it strange. I would imagine the person has idealized me in some way and that would likely make me a bit uncomfortable. I would also probably feel they are trying to force a friendship, which is not how I generally approach friendships. Letting them unfold naturally is best. 

I would suggest trying to make friends who live near you. Befriending these two and expecting you will maintain a friendship over this significant distance is just not that viable a prospect. 

As an autistic person, we often experience something that I would call "platonic infatuation". I think some people call it "a squish" since it is non-romantic attraction. It's not so much physical like a romantic crush but more so the vibe / emotional energy / common interests we pick up from a person when we meet them. It can get us extremely infatuated in a non-romantic way and we really want to be a friend of this person, and want them in our lives so bad. This is honestly how autistic people function. 

I am curious, why would you feel they are trying to force a friendship? If you originally like them and feel interested in getting to know them better if an opportunity arises, why is it forced? I would only think a friendship is forced if you are trying to force someone that isn't interested at all into a friendship. How can you let a friendship unfold naturally in the same way when it is long distance and you have to make a stronger effort to see someone? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Fortnite said:

As an autistic person, we often experience something that I would call "platonic infatuation". 

Are you getting help from your physician, neurologist and a therapist and social worker?

Obsessions can be helped and managed. There's no such thing as "platonic infatuation". What you are describing is an elaborate plan in your mind to attempt to make these acquaintances into friends. Basically, an obsession with that.

With help from your therapist and social worker, you can manage these thoughts and feelings.

Unfortunately these people could find it somewhat creepy to travel 6 hours to make friends, but on some level you have insight into this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Fortnite said:

For me a friendships is clearly: "A life lasting link of love, respect, and care between two souls", and NOT at all: "A temporary alliance that relates to a common group / interest / beliefs, and shared life experience.”

Therefore, distance really does not matter to me so much at all. 

Yes but in your situation distance matters a lot.  Look -even if these two people were your best friends in college and then you relocated a long distance away, it would be really hard -because of the distance -to keep up a close friendship. 

Meaning not just a feeling of love or care -those feelings might very well remain -but the actions of friendship - especially in one's 20s after college friendships that don't involve seeing each other regularly, doing activities together - often fade because -with exceptions -many adults who are new college graduates are focused on the next goal/milestone whether that is a new career, relocating, getting married, applying to grad school etc.

So they form connections and friendships with people going through the same thing and very often -since they are really busy -in close proximity.

I have close friendships with certain friends from childhood, high school, college, grad school - I am 56, I left school for good in 1994.  With one we actually mostly text -no phone calls - but we share daily details when we text, we know what's going on and when I visit my hometown we try to see each other in person.  But we started being close when we were 12. 

Same with another friend who I met when we were 14.  We stopped living in the same city in 1989. 

But then there are many who I was close with and geography played a rather significant role in the friendship fading mostly because the other person wasn't interested in keeping in touch long distance and moved on -perhaps that person still feels a link or connection to me as I do to her but in reality we're not close -Facebook the last 13 years for me means with certain of them I can see what's going on with them but that's not closeness.  

Ironically tomorrow I am supposed to meet a woman I connected with through Facebook.  We're pretty sure we met in high school -we went to different but related high schools and are the same age and ironically had our children around the same age- we have several mutual friends from our high school years.  We also grew up near each other although went to high schools a distance from our home.  She lives about two miles from me and we're going to meet in the middle. 

I can tell you 100% for certain we would never ever be meeting if we didn't live near each other (and our kids actually overlapped in the same schools).

And it would be really creepy if one of us decided to travel hours to meet the other and reconnect from 40 years ago or so. It's easy for us to meet, we have a lot in common in addition to our past, and the investment of a half hour-hour walk when it's convenient for us makes sense - if we figure out we click as friends we'll make another plan I'm sure and if not no biggie. 

But she would have said no way if I said oh I'm going to plan a weekend trip to your city -want to meet -and if she figured out -hpyothetically -I knew no one but her -she'd be creeped out I think.

Why would I feel unsafe for my spouse if someone like you wanted to meet to catch up out of the blue and it became obvious you traveled all that way to meet me? Because I would be concerned about your emotional stability and the weirdness of traveling so far just to meet with a past acquaintance. I would wonder what you wanted and whether somehow this intensity would relate to my husband too - in some way - and you knowing details about us including where we worked would make me feel cautious and unsafe that you might contact him/bother him if I met and decided it was nice to have coffee but see ya.  My interactions with strangers or acquaintances can also affect my family so it's not just about me.

Hope that clarifies.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Fortnite said:

I tend to be a lot more targeted at specific people when I make friends compared to others. It's kind of a little bit like platonic infatuation with nothing more then friendship. 

People feel uneasy when "targeted."   That is a pretty sound generalization.  This is why "stalking" is a terrible thing to do to another person, even if the "stalker" does nothing outright harmful to their target.  I am not saying you are a "stalker" but that is a useful example.

You are probably not on the radar of these people; they may not even know who you are.

10 hours ago, Fortnite said:

IDK if I agree with you when it comes to being more satisfying to regularly get together with buddies vs a few times a year. For me its all about the quality of the person themself.

You are projecting.  These people are acquaintances and you feel drawn to them, but you don't really know them.  I suspect you can't gauge their quality well.

There are a couple of pieces you are missing about friendships:  

1) There is a large component of mutual chemistry at play, just like in romantic relationships.  Both / all of the people involved need to feel drawn to each other and motivated to spend time together.   Because I admire someone does not mean that they are going to feel the same way about me - or, even if they do, that they will translate that admiration into a desire to spend time with me.

2)  Friendships develop organically.  I don't think that many actually blossom because one person targeted another.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Fortnite said:

How can you let a friendship unfold naturally in the same way when it is long distance and you have to make a stronger effort to see someone? 

That's just it: I wouldn't be that interested in forging a friendship with someone who lives so far away. 

If we happened to be in the same area at the same time, that's one thing. But it would be another if I knew that person was going out of their way and driving 6 hours just to see me, when we hardly know each other. 

12 hours ago, Fortnite said:

t can get us extremely infatuated in a non-romantic way and we really want to be a friend of this person, and want them in our lives so bad

That may be, but you need to understand that is going to make many people uncomfortable. Are you under the care of a mental health professional? They will be able to guide you better on forming healthy friendships. Acting on an infatuation is not the way forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s not weird to want to cultivate a friendship with them, but yearning for it so badly is a bit much. Just reach out from time to time and see if a connection slowly builds. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t obsess over these two people. There are plenty of other people in the world you can be friends with. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If an acquaintance zeroed in on me, traveled afar to make arrangements to meet me despite my not knowing them well, became fixated and obsessed with me even in the name of friendship purposes, it does indeed feel creepy and weird because overzealous behavior is extremely alarming.  Unusual behavior warns others to instinctively protect themselves from harm and prioritize their safety for obvious reasons. 

I agree with others.  Cultivate, nurture and maintain local friendships.  Get involved in your community whether it's sports, groups, hobbies, special interests, intellectual pursuits, MeetUps, charitable organizations, volunteerism, church (if you're faith based), excursion groups and the like.  There is a way to develop friendships in a safe, non-threatening way.  Friendships take time.  You need to ease into it.  You can't just pounce on people with friendship expectations.  It doesn't work that way.  Try taking a different, more pragmatic route.  You'll find more success this way. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Fortnite said:

It can get us extremely infatuated in a non-romantic way and we really want to be a friend of this person, and want them in our lives so bad.

 

On 12/2/2022 at 8:31 PM, Fortnite said:

I think they might find it weird that I am making them so much of a priority like this that I'm making a 6 hr trip just to see them, when I barely know them

So you know enough not to tell these people what's going on in your head, because you know that would scare them off. Therefore, you're being deceitful and unethical, doing something because it's what you want, but definitely not something the targeted party would ever want--also, regardless of what's in their best interest.

Can I ask you what you'd do if after half a year of building a friendship, if one of them said, "I no longer have time to call you or answer calls from you, because my elderly parent is sick, I'm taking care of them, among many other things I'm overly busy with.

Are you going to be able to go no-contact without having a meltdown? Without begging to stay friends?

Whether or not how you develop platonic crushes is actually a part of your particular type of autism or it's just an assumption, don't use it as a crutch for being unable to change and grow as a human being.

Get some occupational behavioral therapy to learn proper social skills. And the belief that every friendship you have will last a lifetime is unrealistic. You're doing yourself a disservice to set yourself up for disappointment. 

Do yourself a favor and seek therapy, as suggested by several other posters. That'll help you navigate the world of friendships in a much healthier way, and likely with better results.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/4/2022 at 5:28 AM, Wiseman2 said:

Are you getting help from your physician, neurologist and a therapist and social worker?

Obsessions can be helped and managed. There's no such thing as "platonic infatuation". What you are describing is an elaborate plan in your mind to attempt to make these acquaintances into friends. Basically, an obsession with that.

With help from your therapist and social worker, you can manage these thoughts and feelings.

Unfortunately these people could find it somewhat creepy to travel 6 hours to make friends, but on some level you have insight into this.

I do see a psychologist on a biweekly basis to process things like this any many others through. Helps a little bit. That being said my psychologist often says that it is important to watch the way I go about things and control obsessions so it doesn't freak people out. This is one of the reasons I even asked this in the first place.

As for platonic infatuation, that is just the kind of feeling I was describing. Not sure if it's actually called that, LOL.

I am honestly thinking about being honest with both of those people and saying directly that I thought they seemed cool, regret not approaching them in the past, and maybe bounce it off them about coming up to see them. They still might find it creepy, but I just wonder if being honest might help.

Hayley and I have had a conversation over text like 6 months ago about autism, and how we look at relationships differently. I mentioned to Hayley already that I regret not talking to her more, and expressed desire to get to know her better if we cross paths again and hoping that we cross. She thought it was cool, and said maybe we'll cross. All that to say, I do think Hayley was thinking more if we actually ended up near each other again, and not so much me making the effort to go all the way back to college only to see her. I have been back a few times for different reasons, and she knows I do come from time to time. In fact I was even back a few weeks ago and texted Hayley but she was out of town for a wedding of one of her best friends. I was seriously thinking about changing the dates, but I felt if she found out why I did it (she's a smart girl), that might feel creepy / unsafe and turn her off. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/4/2022 at 7:01 AM, Batya33 said:

I can tell you 100% for certain we would never ever be meeting if we didn't live near each other (and our kids actually overlapped in the same schools).

And it would be really creepy if one of us decided to travel hours to meet the other and reconnect from 40 years ago or so. It's easy for us to meet, we have a lot in common in addition to our past, and the investment of a half hour-hour walk when it's convenient for us makes sense - if we figure out we click as friends we'll make another plan I'm sure and if not no biggie. 

But she would have said no way if I said oh I'm going to plan a weekend trip to your city -want to meet -and if she figured out -hpyothetically -I knew no one but her -she'd be creeped out I think.

Why would I feel unsafe for my spouse if someone like you wanted to meet to catch up out of the blue and it became obvious you traveled all that way to meet me? Because I would be concerned about your emotional stability and the weirdness of traveling so far just to meet with a past acquaintance. I would wonder what you wanted and whether somehow this intensity would relate to my husband too - in some way - and you knowing details about us including where we worked would make me feel cautious and unsafe that you might contact him/bother him if I met and decided it was nice to have coffee but see ya.  My interactions with strangers or acquaintances can also affect my family so it's not just about me.

Hope that clarifies.

Definitely makes sense. And LOL, I have to admit, it is kind of funny that you're afraid my emotional intensity might relate to your husband as well, and I'd try to contact him. It sounds like something I might actually try to do, but I wouldn't necessarily do it WITHOUT your permission. Why would he be bothered if I contacted him though? Basically if you were Hayley or Ryan, I'd probably be very interested in getting your spouse involved and contacting him/her as well, but NOT if you told me not to. Or if I had a mutual friend, I might just ask a mutual friend if he/she could introduce me to your spouse over FaceTime or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/4/2022 at 12:47 PM, Jaunty said:

People feel uneasy when "targeted."   That is a pretty sound generalization.  This is why "stalking" is a terrible thing to do to another person, even if the "stalker" does nothing outright harmful to their target.  I am not saying you are a "stalker" but that is a useful example.

You are probably not on the radar of these people; they may not even know who you are.

You are projecting.  These people are acquaintances and you feel drawn to them, but you don't really know them.  I suspect you can't gauge their quality well.

There are a couple of pieces you are missing about friendships:  

1) There is a large component of mutual chemistry at play, just like in romantic relationships.  Both / all of the people involved need to feel drawn to each other and motivated to spend time together.   Because I admire someone does not mean that they are going to feel the same way about me - or, even if they do, that they will translate that admiration into a desire to spend time with me.

2)  Friendships develop organically.  I don't think that many actually blossom because one person targeted another.

 

Oh those people definitely know who I am, no question. We have been texting from time to time (not excessively), but around maybe a few conversations / month. I kind of formed an idea of them in my head by projecting things.

I have targeted plenty of people to make friends with in the past, and it blossomed greatly, but it did take a lot a lot of time, and I wouldn't say I am CLOSE with many of them, but I still value the friendship and they still value me. I'd think usually it's natural to feel honored and want to befriend someone if they like you and want to befriend you, as long as there is some sort of connection you feel, or chemistry. That being said, I wasn't super intense with the people I targeted and was very good at just taking it slow and not getting too disappointed from the outside if things didn't work out or go the way I hoped for. Also most of those people were in somewhat close proximity to me or I met them at a conference that lasted a week and targeted them at the conference so it made sense. 

There was one person I did actually target in the same way, but she is an older lady that does concerts for people to go to. I went to one of her concerts, but in that situation, I think it is more expected that people would want to meet her and go to her concerts because she is somewhat of a celebrity that many people know about. That played out very well actually.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/4/2022 at 2:30 PM, jul-els said:

It’s not weird to want to cultivate a friendship with them, but yearning for it so badly is a bit much. Just reach out from time to time and see if a connection slowly builds. If it does, great. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t obsess over these two people. There are plenty of other people in the world you can be friends with. 

Yeah I think that is what I'll try. I want to cultivate friendships with them, and I think they will likely be honored, but I feel like if I obsess or yearn for it badly, then it'll go the exact opposite direction and make them feel unsafe / uncomfortable, want to stay away from me. I do reach out from time to time and I do actually feel like a connection is building slowly but taking time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/4/2022 at 7:21 PM, Andrina said:

 

So you know enough not to tell these people what's going on in your head, because you know that would scare them off. Therefore, you're being deceitful and unethical, doing something because it's what you want, but definitely not something the targeted party would ever want--also, regardless of what's in their best interest.

Can I ask you what you'd do if after half a year of building a friendship, if one of them said, "I no longer have time to call you or answer calls from you, because my elderly parent is sick, I'm taking care of them, among many other things I'm overly busy with.

Are you going to be able to go no-contact without having a meltdown? Without begging to stay friends?

I'd have an absolute meltdown and probably feel like I can't live life anymore. LOL, JUST KIDDING!

If one of them said that they don't have time to answer calls because of an elderly parent, I would know that is likely just a busy season in life for them, and I will pray for them and their parent, wish them well, and not call for a while. That is totally fine. Life gets busy, and some seasons in life are busier for some than others. To be honest, I don't think they would ask for no contact at all, but they would ask me maybe not to call, and only use texts or emails. It might take a while for them to respond like perhaps a month, but I can live with that. However, if they deliberately told me to not contact them ever again, that would feel like betrayal, or a breach of trust, and I would get extremely upset, but I don't think that would happen unless I did something that made them feel unsafe or not comfortable, or broke their trust / hurt them in some terrible way.  

I've made friends similar to how I described above with many many people, and not even one of them has ever said they couldn't remain friends or told me to never contact them. They have said before that when they are in busy seasons of life, they might not have the time to stay in touch on the same level and that is understandable, but that's fine.

To be honest, I have plenty of friends that I don't get to talk to that often at all these days because they're busy and don't have much time, but I still see them like once every year or every 2 years, and cherish that relationship a lot. It's a very distant friendship that ain't close, but if I lost it completely, I likely would have a serious meltdown. I can go fine without talking to someone for ages as long as they don't cut me out of their life. 

I think many people, when faced with a situation where a friend is just too busy to make much time for them, they just move on, and try to make new friends in the area. However, I am a little different. I would still value the friendship and try to keep it going but it will not be nearly as close because of time, etc. However, they'd still always be key in my life, and I would still be intentional with them even if they can't reciprocate like they used to. I don't like losing people completely.

In all honesty, I am thinking to just be honest and tell them my intentions, like basically what I said on here, and see if they might not feel uncomfortable due to my 100% honesty. I'll bounce off a psychologist to see, but I just wonder if I be very honest before I do anything, and see how they feel about it, maybe I might have some luck. What do you think? Like tell them I have autism, make friends differently, and explain that I would really like to see them, etc. Maybe they might be understanding and interested?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Fortnite said:

What do you think?

 

8 hours ago, Fortnite said:

Like tell them I have autism, make friends differently, and explain that I would really like to see them, etc. Maybe they might be understanding and interested?

What I think is that since you make friends differently, a person might also fear your friendship boundaries might also be so different than theirs, that it's beyond their comfort level. Also, they might fear how you will react if they decide to end the friendship or have it lessen to a great extent, as in your quote below. That, in particular, is what you should discuss with a therapist, as part of your discussion about this issue.

 

8 hours ago, Fortnite said:

However, if they deliberately told me to not contact them ever again, that would feel like betrayal, or a breach of trust, and I would get extremely upset

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Fortnite said:

Definitely makes sense. And LOL, I have to admit, it is kind of funny that you're afraid my emotional intensity might relate to your husband as well, and I'd try to contact him. It sounds like something I might actually try to do, but I wouldn't necessarily do it WITHOUT your permission. Why would he be bothered if I contacted him though? Basically if you were Hayley or Ryan, I'd probably be very interested in getting your spouse involved and contacting him/her as well, but NOT if you told me not to. Or if I had a mutual friend, I might just ask a mutual friend if he/she could introduce me to your spouse over FaceTime or something.

This is all so wildly hypothetical.  I met my new friend yesterday (who I actually might have met in high school) and it sounds like she and her husband (who I did not meet) might have things in common with my husband.  We also have many mutual friends and colleagues.  I told her we should get together again and maybe with our husbands. I don't always suggest meeting spouses -it's just because it's obvious there's a lot in common there.  

I would be very upset if she contacted my husband on her own in any way (and she could -she could look him up, google him etc).  I would find it inappropriate and intrusive and my husband would be upset too to have someone he doesn't yet know contact him.  If she asked if she could for a reason that made sense- something job related etc I'd check with him and let her know and that would be totally fine.  I cannot imagine anyone doing anything like that "unless told not to" - it just defies common sense IMO. 

One time I contacted someone's wife -I met him and his son at a kids activity.  Our kids got along well.  He suggested getting together again but didn't give me his email or phone.  I found him on Facebook and I contacted his wife because I didn't want to give the appearance of impropriety and he'd already told me to contact him -just forgotten to tell me how.  So I contacted the wife to tell her I met her husband and son and our sons got along well.  That way I wasn't a woman contacting her husband.  That made sense to me from an etiquette perspective.  

I think you have an unusual view of friendships and boundaries and I think acting on it could upset or frustrate people.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Andrina said:

 

What I think is that since you make friends differently, a person might also fear your friendship boundaries might also be so different than theirs, that it's beyond their comfort level. Also, they might fear how you will react if they decide to end the friendship or have it lessen to a great extent, as in your quote below. That, in particular, is what you should discuss with a therapist, as part of your discussion about this issue.

 

 

If friendship boundaries are different, I think we can compromise on that. It's something I can work out. Why would someone decide to end the friendship completely though? I honestly think that is just cruel, a breach of trust, and not really acceptable, unless I might've done something to warrant that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...