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Red flags in a friend?

(24 Posts)
SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 10:23:16

Are there such things as red flags in a male friend? If if so, should they be heeded in the same manner that reg flags in a potential partner would?

I met a bloke online a year ago and after a year of me dallying (because of my instincts, in part) we met, and have hung out twice now. It went fine and we get on v well, but there are odd little things that niggle about his attitude to women, I think he watches porn which would be a dealbreaker in a relationship but not sure about friendships (?), he can be condescending and likes to tease me, so after a few years with my DS's Dad who was an abusive sod, I can often feel like I'm constantly on the defensive around this friend even though it's only done in jest. I don't want to be constantly ribbed by a friend - am I being oversensitive because of my past relationship? Do red flags matter in a friend I have no intention of ever dating?
XP started teasing 'in jest' too and always said I was being oversensitive if I objected, but I have the perspective now to KNOW he was trying to squash me emotionally and it was bullying. Now this friend is exhibiting similar behaviours and I don't know how serious this is.

It sounds really stupid but as I've known him a year (although we only met up in the last month, twice) I feel that 'defriending' him on FB and stopping contact would be odd as well as hurtful, and I'd just come across as a drama-hungry mardy stroppy cow. If I don't defriend him, he'll comment on about 80% of my statuses and I'll feel obliged to respond or else look rude.
I don't even know what's normal anymore, and my judgment about friendships is clouded too, I now see sad

Any perspectives would be welcome.

shelfy74 Tue 19-Jul-11 10:35:10

Life is too short to spend time with people who make you uncomfortable. Change your facebook settings so he can't see your status and just gradually reduce contact, be busy or unwell until he gets the message.

garlicbutter Tue 19-Jul-11 10:45:25

Agree with shelfy. Your instincts seem to be working fine, don't confuse them now!

ShoutyHamster Tue 19-Jul-11 10:46:16

He doesn't sound like much of a friend at all! Definitely stop bothering with him - friends are suposed to enhance your life, not be yet another pain in the bum situation to deal with.

I can see why you don't want to make a big issue out of dropping him, especially if he is an annoying type. I'd reduce contact gradually. The first thing, though - take the upper hand. You don't value this guy's friendship, so don't feel 'obliged' to reply to him. That's the first step. If he asks why, delay replying for a day or so then just 'sorry I've been really busy'. With luck, you might find that your friendship drops off naturally. If he's a clinger, keep on with the tailing off contact 'so busy at the mo'. You'll get to the point where you can defriend him as 'part of a big cull' without any bother and you'll just not longer be in touch.

If he won't drop it though, you need to think about being more honest - 'I don't really think our friendship is working out. I find you quite critical and teasy, and I just don't like it. I don't think we were meant to be close friends.'

clam Tue 19-Jul-11 10:46:26

I can understand why people look for partners online, but why would you want to find friends there? What's wrong with real-life?

And I agree with shelfy.

buzzsore Tue 19-Jul-11 10:46:47

I agree with shelfy, change his access to your FB so he can't see your status/updates/photos etc. If he questions it, just say you're not using FB anymore so have removed everything.

Don't keep up with a 'friend' who makes you feel shit - he's no friend. You don't owe him anything.

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 11:07:54

Thanks for all the responses. I love MN.

clam, we met on a dating site and exchanged a few messages, then I dropped communication for a few months partly because I was involved with someone else by that point. I never really fancied this friend, but I do remember the reason I stopped messaging him early on was because he was very subtly pushy, when I didn't reply once he sent me a little message to ask how I was and jog my memory, and when I replied and said I had been busy, he said (joked? hmm) something to the equivalent of 'Ohh, it's alright for some, must be nice to have so many messages on <dating site> to respond to'. That put me off, so I didn't reply until about 6 months later when I saw someone in town that looked like him doing a double take at me, and I reconnected with him online partly to say I'd seen someone who looked like him and what were the chances etc (it was him, it turned out, and he'd recognized me) and partly to generally apologize for going awol.

The thing I'm remembering now is, I billed my going awol as 'I was in love with this other bloke and we had a tumultuous and ill-advised relationship' but actually, it wasn't that was it? he made me feel a little uneasy from early on and I just ignored it.

Crap. He's on my lastfm, my google+ and my FB. I'm not planning on stopping using any of them. Oh shit, this is just really awkward but the longer I let things drag on the worse it gets. I hate being all polite and British sometimes...

Writing everything down here has helped me to remember stuff, and see things more objectively. Bit of a sinking feeling now as I'm realizing how bad I am at listening to my instincts, which is how I ended up with nasty XP in the first place. blush I'm really shy and don't have many friends locally, I think this in influencing me because it's so nice to just get out of the house and spend time with someone.

ShoutyHamster Tue 19-Jul-11 11:17:59

Why don't you just delete him from all of them, then when he gets in touch just say that you don't feel good about the friendship and don't want it to continue?

You've only met him twice!

He sounds a pushy pain - just be a bit pushy back! It's ok for him, so it's ok for you.

It will be a good tutorial in how to get those boundaries up grin

buzzsore Tue 19-Jul-11 11:25:16

I agree, just bite the bullet and defriend him on everything.

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 11:25:38

Shouty, I know you're right but I'm really scared at the thought of doing that, I suppose because I don't trust my own judgement and believe in myself.

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 11:26:38

buzz, if he then emails me (he probably will) to ask what's going on, what the hell do I say? Ignore?

buzzsore Tue 19-Jul-11 11:31:32

Well, you have the choice - I think I'd probably take the ignoring route or set up my email to send him to junk grin.

garlicbutter Tue 19-Jul-11 11:33:03

Write back: "Message from Mailserver:: User SingOut does not exist. The account was deleted::" wink And delete him from all your networks.

garlicbutter Tue 19-Jul-11 11:34:06

... unless he's an IT bod, who'd know how to check.

Blu Tue 19-Jul-11 11:36:07

Let him know that you are not happy - just say 'ouch - not nice!' when he next teases you, and 'I'm not sure this is fun'. Then when he does it again, de-friend him - and he will know why.

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 11:53:29

garlic, he is an IT bod.
Blu, that kind of happened last night and I did respond in that kind of way, which is why I'm asking today - because I have the opportunity to defriend and he'd have half an inkling why.

<deep breath> okay, I'm going to do it. I know I will feel better after. I just don't like hurting people - even eejits sad

BerylOfLaughs Tue 19-Jul-11 11:57:11

google+ is easy to put him in his own circle and then not send him any staus updates.

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 12:01:16

Okay, done. D'you know what, I feel surprisingly calm and at peace now.

I don't know how to stop repeating this pattern, though. I've recognized it, identified it, I have an excellent gut instinct but persist in ignoring it. I'm not sure what to do to guard against this exact same situation in the future. I mean, having a child with and wasting years of my life on an absolute twat clearly hasn't drummed it into me, I'm still getting in the same situation, albeit a more diluted version, and I'm reacting slightly quicker and being a bit warier all round.

Maybe it just takes time and repeated mistakes? sad

ShoutyHamster Tue 19-Jul-11 12:07:06

Think about what you have just said there -

'I don't trust my own judgement'

That's a really ODD thing to say in this situation, if you think about it. It's more the kind of thing that you'd say if, say, you were buying a house, and that you liked one but were afraid that you had no sense of whether it would be a good buy/didn't know the area/didn't understand the survey, etc. i.e.: you wouldn't trust your judgement because there were bigger issues at play than how you felt about it right now, and you were afraid to go with what you felt and possibly lose out, say, financially.

That isn't the case here. There is no 'judgement' to come into play. The only considerations are personal ones. The right course quite simply is the one you want to take, for whatever reason you want to take it. You are, subconsciously, taking the view that there is some larger, more important element at work here, for example, his 'right' to have you as a friend. You are minimising your right to act independently. Do you see what I'm getting at?

What does it matter if your 'judgement' is askew? You cease being friends, and then regret it a bit later? Does it matter if in a year's time you think 'I was probably a bit harsh there'? You've already given this a lot of thought. You've come to a conclusion - allow yourself to act on it.

ShoutyHamster Tue 19-Jul-11 12:07:47

Oh well done grin - and slight x-post, but given what you've just said, maybe what I said above will have some use for you?

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 12:11:12

I do see what you're getting at Shouty, thank you. I think what might be happening is that literally years of having my opinions and feelings and, well, my everything, minimized by XP has taken it's toll. I'm only starting to become aware of how deep it has gone.
And I mean, I was somewhat like that to start with anyway, bullied at school and college to varying degrees - or I might not have given XP or this male friend the time of day in the first place.

buzzsore Tue 19-Jul-11 13:01:46

Maybe the Freedom programme with Women's Aid would help?

Don't knock yourself, you're spotting them smile.

SingOut Tue 19-Jul-11 18:37:24

Thanks, buzz smile There isn't a freedom programme near me, but I've ordered the home study book instead.

maandpa Wed 20-Jul-11 20:01:51

Never a truer word said in jest.

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