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tips on going back to platonic friendship(7 Posts)
Sorry if this is quite long for what is actually quite a trivial problem but typing it out has helped clear my head a bit.
I've been single for a few years, usually quite happy and not looking for anyone. I've got a male friend I've known for a long time and regularly socialise with, both with mutual friends and alone, but I only know his partner vaguely (we share a hobby which she has no interest in). He's been with his partner (no children) since I've known him and until last year I'd never had any kind of romantic thought for him.
At the beginning of last year we started spending a lot more time together and became closer; over the course of a few months it felt like we became 'best' friends. I must stress there was never any flirting, inappropriate discussions etc, but there was some sort of connection between us that hadn't been there before. We never really discussed his homelife but I got the impression that things were not all rosy with his partner. Unfortunately, as we became closer I developed a crush on him but tried to make sure I never showed it.
Then in Nov /Dec he started to become cooler with me (not unfriendly but back to the way things were before the extra attention started) and, probably not a coincidence, it appeared that he and his partner were 'back to normal'. I am annoyed because I had become used to us being close friends, I feel slightly used (like I was filling some kind of gap in his life), but worse I am also now jealous of his partner because i still have a crush on him.
Any advice on moving things in my head back to us being purely mates, rather than me wanting to shag him. It would be nice if I could keep out of his way for a while but the hobby we share, and related social circle, mean that this is highly unlikely.
Take a break. A friend of mine became a friend with benefits then we didn't see each other for about a year (just due to circumstances). It broke the habit of being physically intimate. He came to my wedding and I've met his girlfriend, it's 100% platonic.
Emotional intimacy is different of course but I think the same principle applies. Proximity is the enemy of breaking patterns that need to change.
I know you don't want to hear this hun, but this is going to be extremely difficult if you don't go cold turkey, by which I mean not seeing or contacting him for a while. Is there another group, perhaps a bit further away you could join to do your hobby with? Don't go to social occasions if you know he'll be there (presumably he'd be with his DP anyway). Also, everytime a thought about him pops into your head, make a conscious effort to push it out by thinking of something completely different. Can you tell I've been there, done that, am still wearing the T shirt? If you manage this for a few months, you might then be able to see him as a good friend again. At that time you could explain the reason behind your temporary absence (if he hasn't guessed)
If you want to shag someone it will never be a platonic friendship. It'll be one person experiencing unrequited love and the other feeling bloody awkward...... Sorry but you've blown it
Cognito: I think that's a bit of a sweeping generalisation. I've had male friends in the past that i knew were attracted to me but for whatever reason we were never going to get it together as a couple. It never made me feel 'bloody awkward', in fact i've generally been flattered.
Cheapskate and waiting: I agree that time away is what i need. But if I go NC with him it will mean also either going NC with a lot of other people, or explaining to other friends what's going on. And thanks for the reminder to conciously push thoughts of him away.
He backed off when his relationship warmed back up again. He used you for an ego boost and I think you're kidding yourself if you tnink there was no flirting etc. He actually should feel awkward because he sounds like a chancer. ...
Take a good break, cool the friendship right off for a while and it -might- be different after you re-establish contact.
If it means going NC with other friends then it's more difficult. You could accept the new cooler friendship for what it is, but if you've developed a crush it's hard. Perhaps only try to see him in company, try to unobtrusively make sure you don't sit next to him, if you do end up in close proximity try to keep it neutral. Distance is the best cure though.
Maybe concentrate more on other social circles for a while, if you can. Don't need to drop this one completely, just to put more time into the others.
But be prepared for him cold-shouldering you now. At a guess, he was thinking of much more than friendship while his marriage was in trouble and now it's better he might not want to risk anything more and quite likely feels bad about flirting with you.
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