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Pathetic crush and now I feel like a fool

(92 Posts)
oliveoliveolive Thu 10-Jul-14 23:37:02

I've name changed, not sure what I'm looking for here really but probably just sympathy.

I split up from my ex a few months ago with whom I have a dd - the split was amicable enough.

Post-split I made friends with a lovely guy who I'd previously known about from mutual friends but had never really spoken to him iyswim.

Anyways, we got talking and became fast friends within these few months so much so that we spoke every day and met up frequently on a strictly platonic basis (though I always thought I sensed something more than platonic). There was a bit of flirting but nothing was ever really said apart from how we cared about one another a lot etc and just laughing at how important we are to each other and how it's amazing we hadn't met sooner. He really does seem in awe of our friendship as am I - I won't go into detail but we have in common a few personal matters which until now neither of us had found in other people. We have the same sense of humour and just get on.

So recently I've accepted that I'm ready for a new relationship (to be fair I have been for a few weeks if not longer) and that my feelings for this man go beyond just platonic - he's suffered some personal tragedies this month and it's all been a bit draining for him, I've been there to support him through this and grown even closer to him. He really is a lovely guy and we really do 'click' together well, even mutual friends have said there is an obvious spark.

But then today he asked for my input on how to proceed with things in relation to a colleague he rather fancies - apparently I'm his only female friend and just 'knew' I would have good advice.

I have been friendzoned and it is shit.

I feel pathetic and mortified at the thought of actually having told him my feelings and then finding out he fancies someone else.

Going nc or anything with him is out of the question because he really is a great guy and a wonderful friend but I'm not sure how I feel about seeing him dating someone else if things with his colleague or someone else work out. I feel quite devastated to be honest and not just because he likes someone else but because this 'spark' or chemistry we had is one I've never really felt before. We both recognised that we get along so well etc so I'm quite stumped as to why he never saw a romantic potential in what we currently have. If a man and a woman find a connection between themselves that is clearly strong then why did a romantic prospect only enter my mind, why not his?

mrsjavierbardem Thu 10-Jul-14 23:44:04

I think what another person feels and wants can be a total mystery.

I think what is more relevant is that you are so recently out of another relationship. You may be still just full of the issues from that maybe without realising it?

I would say, lucky you, because if you'd become intimate with this guy it might have floundered as it was too soon and you might have lost him.

I'd say well done for not showing your hand. Play the long game. There is a lot to be said for friendship turning into love.

I believe you need to become a habit of his and then see what happens. Don't give up but be shrewd, keep him as a mate, Or I would, I think you have everything to gain!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Thu 10-Jul-14 23:48:29

I'm sorry that you feel sad. I think he's letting you down gently. If he were interested, he would have responded in kind when you told him how you felt. He doesn't feel the same way and that's ok, albeit it's painful for you. He's been a bit clumsy; asking for your advice about another woman he supposedly has a crush on - it tells you loud and clear that he doesn't see you that way but it's not a very tactful way of dealing with the problem.

The sparks that your friends saw are obviously 'friendship sparks' and they would like to see you happy, know that you wanted more than friendship with him, so joined-up-the-dots and saw what they wanted to.

I think the only way to handle this is to DO 'bright and breezy', make no more mention of your feelings for him and slowly find other friends to also socialise with. The sad thing is that you'll probably not be able to go back to the innocence of friendship with this man now so you have a choice - either take it on the chin and fake it until you can establish a 'new', genuine friendship with him - or remove yourself. Tough choice, I know. I think the first one is better if you really feel that you have a friendship there and can handle it but nobody would blame you if you couldn't.

TheCraicDealer Thu 10-Jul-14 23:48:36

Maybe he's been hankering after the colleague for a long time, well before he met you. Maybe he knew you'd just split up from a LT relationship and so never saw you as a potential girlfriend. Maybe he's trying to prompt a reaction. Maybe....we could literally do this all night.

My colleague and I get along in a very similar way- we are very very close and i do think there's a 'spark' there, but not in a sexual way. I just don't fancy him. You can really connect with someone in a platonic way; some people are just suited and get along like a house on fire without wanting to shag the life out of each other.

You'll never know categorically why he doesn't want to take things further unless you ask him. You could bring it up, something along the lines of, "Don't you ever think it's funny we never got together?", then if he gets all shirty you can make it into a joke. But, if it's one thing I've learnt about men (and it's not much), if they're interested you'll know. It might be best just to try and chill out, maybe dip your toe in the wider dating pool again and try to maintain a friendship with him. Maybe you're finding yourself attracted to him because he's 'there' and seemingly available. He's like the Barrett Homes house that's ready to move into, when maybe what you need right now is to see what else is out there.

SaVred Thu 10-Jul-14 23:53:19

oh it's terrible, and you're not the only person it happens to. I've been there a few times, feeling that there is such a real connection, and there is, but only as friends, and he's looking over my shoulder at the 25 year old standing behind me.

Well not that extreme perhaps but you get the picture.

My mistake in the past was to continue to offer the friendship.

Looking back I can see now that there would have been dignity in saying 'you know I think you see me as a friend, but I see you as more than that'.

And if nothing came from it, I would withdraw.

Certainly if that happens to me again............... I will do that. It is torture, the unrequited stuff, don't know if I'd said 'love' because it might not have been, but not easy.

oliveoliveolive Thu 10-Jul-14 23:54:40

Thanks mrsjavier - whilst I don't think I'm still harbouring issues or feelings from my previous relationship (we broke up a few months ago but he'd been living separately for over a year) I completely agree with not having become intimate or anything when things were still a bit raw. I just feel 'ready' now though and realise I have for a while.

I'm definitely going to continue with this friendship and hope he may realise at some point that maybe we could be more than friends or something. It just feels a bit shit because until today I was still at a stage where I felt a bit jittery about 'us' and the whole 'does he like me' thing was quite exciting. The flirting was there, the eye contact was there, the lingering touches were there and yet, I'm dishing out relationship advice it seems. Sigh..

SaVred Thu 10-Jul-14 23:57:06

oh sorry, I missed that you'd told him how you felt before he told you about the colleague.

I think he's trying to draw the lines there. sorry.

Honestly you might think I'm a bitch but don't spend hours "every day" supporting a male friend that you've feelings for. It will sap your confidence. Take a step back. Maybe a tactic could be to make him miss you. It probably won't work but it's worht one try.

TheCraicDealer Fri 11-Jul-14 00:00:53

I'm telling you now- that is a bad plan. If you keep seeing him and hoping against hope that he'll change his mind, you'll end up ignoring every other man in your path because "he's not x". I have been there!

If you're going to keep seeing him, listen to what he's telling you. He's looking for a relationship, but not with you. Do you want to be his Dr Phil? No, because it's shit and boring and it'll break your heart. Disengage immediately.

I don't mean to be harsh and I promise irl I would be delivering these words with some tea and an awkward pat on the back.

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:03:13

LyingWitchintheWardrobe - I didn't actually tell him how I felt, not once did I even let it slip that I liked him romantically. We both did acknowledge how much we cared about each other and how I'd become so important to him with his own prompting but we never speak about us romantically.

TheCraicDealer - I think you are right about needing to dip my toes into dating other people. I have spoken to other men prior to me developing this crush but since the crush I guess I retreated from OD. I think I need to venture out again.

SaVred - it's horrible isn't it? I feel a bit of a fool at the moment and yet I can't help but think there was 'something' there..

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 11-Jul-14 00:05:23

Apologies, Olive, I read it that you had told him. However... I think he's picked up on it anyway, interpreted it correctly - and panicked into thinking up a diversion that is 'painless'. He's got it wrong.

CraicDealer has it spot on, I think.

... and there are many more men out there for you.

If you like and care about this man, back off. He doesn't fancy you. That doesn't make him a bad person, nor does it make you undesirable, it's just that he doesn't desire you. Don't hang around him hoping he will suddenly realise that you are The One For Him. Youre not, because he doesn't fancy you, and hanging around hopefully will make you look and feel foolish and is also an unfair burden to put on a friend. He doesn't owe you love, sex, or romance, and it's very stressful to be the recipient of someone's unwanted lust/love.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 11-Jul-14 00:08:16

... as does SGB, nail-on-head right there.

SaVred Fri 11-Jul-14 00:10:38

I wonder if I feel that spark/connection partly because it's a compatibility thing, which makes me feel SAFE, but safe is not what men are looking for.....

confused

Once before, I spent years hoping a man would change his mind about me, as I found his attractive, funny, we shared the same sense of humour, but could both be serious about the same things, he was just really good company and I never got tired of being with him. He actually married a woman that was like me in looks but if anything a bit heavier (and I wasn't exactly fat but I used to think 'am i too fat?' si\e ten to 12 of course. but you know what destructive thoughts this situation can come about. Anyway, I knew from his friend that this woman that he loved 'that way' was really introverted. I just didn't get it. I don't care at all now. But trying to understand it was hard, and i couldn't figure out if it was arrogance that I did find it so hard to understand.

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:13:28

I agree, I think he probably has picked it up but then I thought I'd picked up that he likes me too. I'm actually not very obvious with my feelings in general but my constant support and presence I guess could have indicated as much.

I do enjoy our friendship though - we've been abroad twice now with other friends and plan on going again soon so not seeing him is difficult because we have the next couple of months mapped out! But these opportunities are great for meeting new people so I'm looking forward to it all

SaVred Fri 11-Jul-14 00:15:59

olive, just before you back off, is it possible taht you are so terrified of making a fool of yourself that despite telling him you care about him you have been so careful to never let slip that you are attracted to him that he believes that you are NOT attracted to him.

My experience left me with such a terror of being humiliated and rejected (as I felt I had been, on an ongoing basis really) that now if I'm attracted to somebody they'd have to be colombo to figure it out.

if this is not possible, then revert to sgb's post!

SaVred Fri 11-Jul-14 00:18:31

tell him, "if it works out with you and the colleague, I'll miss you" and then guage his reaction. ask him "woudl you be at all jealous if I got a boyfriend now?" as that is basically saying the same thing as 'i'd be hurt if you got a gf because I like you' but I think it's not as bad is it? in terms of putting cards on the table and then possibly feeling stupid later.

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:20:37

SaVred - I agree about the safe thing; we've both been able to be vulnerable in front of each other and that in itself has brought a sense of comfort and connection that he perhaps doesn't associate with being more than platonic.

I also think, from looking at his exes, that I might not be his 'type'. Now I'm not 'unattractive' but the kind of look that his exes have and the one that I have are very different I think. He may have never even begun this friendship with any attraction on his part and so I was never going to be seen as a potential romantic partner perhaps

SaVred Fri 11-Jul-14 00:23:51

yes, attraction grows for women (generalisation that SGB probably won't let me away with) but perhaps for men they just make a snap judgement in the first five seconds of meeting you. I hope that isn't true as I type it.

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:25:15

SaVred - he did broach the subject twice before rather tentatively; the first time asking what I looked for in a potential boyfriend and the second time he asked me how I would interpret our friendship. Being so used to being quite guarded with my feelings I shut the conversation down quite nervously though I was never sure what direction they were headed towards. He did look crestfallen when I did this but I was honestly at that point confused about my own feelings.

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:27:05

Plus I didn't know if he was asking out of general interest - the first to perhaps set me up with a friend or something and the second because at that time we were growing so close. So I never anticipated that this could have been his way to approach the subject so I changed the subject and the focus rather quickly...

SaVred Fri 11-Jul-14 00:31:53

wow. What do you look for in a boyfriend? I think he was hoping you'd say 'somebody like you'.

I think you've cocked it up !!! but I say that only because it could be salvageable.

You actually sound very like me in your approach to these things. Ie, you can form strong relationships with men but the 'terms and conditions' are confusing!

I think you should make yourself say somethign out loud. Have a glass of wine. Tell him you'd envy his gf if he got one.

if he tells you it didn't work out. say "well i'm relieved because i'm right for you''.

Honestly think the situation is way too premature for sgb's advice.

You've gone and done a 'me'. You have protected yourself from the possibility of potential rejection well done, your dignity will keep you company instead! (I'm joking, and only cos I've said it to myself with rolled eyes). I wish I could change. Maybe I will/can,

SaVred Fri 11-Jul-14 00:33:46

i wouldn't care what 95% of men looked for in a girlfriend. A man I was interested in, I'd wonder what he wanted from a gf.

is it the same for men? I imagine they wouldn't give a second thought to what women they've no romantic interest in look for in a boyfriend.

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:36:31

I completely agree - I can be like that and I know from past experience because an old friend, pre-dating my ex and our dd told me that he'd always liked me but I had a tendency to skirt around admitting anything. I am stupidly guarded about things like that, I've told this man things I've never told anyone and yet when it comes to 'us' I've forced the conversation to center on how much I care about him and that's it..

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:37:54

Yes I thought that too, but then I also thought maybe he wanted to set me up with a friend or something iyswim rather than asking for himself

oliveoliveolive Fri 11-Jul-14 00:40:56

I should mention that whilst asking me this we were playing footsie under the table - we've only done that twice, the second time I kicked him in the shin by accident...

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