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This is going to sound pathetic but its really upsetting me and I need some hand-holding and advice

(33 Posts)
newnamesamegame Sat 18-Jul-15 19:55:25

This is a real first-world problem compared with a lot of the people posting on here, and you may think I need to man up, but for some reason its really knocked me for six and upset me.

I separated from my H a few months ago after more than 10 years together and a 4 year old child and in general have been feeling much better and happier since we separated and know I've done the right thing. DD is happy, relationship with ex is generally OK and I'm moving on with my life.

Recently I got myself into a very silly situation with a friend -- not a relationship but a flirtation which got a bit out of hand (no sex was involved) and was knocked on the head by him on the grounds that he didn't want to spoil our friendship (I know, I know). I feel really stupid for letting in get to the point it did and for allowing myself to become attracted to and emotionally involved with someone so soon after coming out of my marriage and a friend into the bargain.

I know I'm vulnerable and not ready for it and I know this man is not right for me. But I was physically attracted to him, I thought "what the hell" and did a couple of things I shouldn't have. I know its for the best for this not to go anywhere but I can't help feeling really quite upset over it -- I'm embarrassed, I'm worried that I've lost a good friend because I let my guard down and I generally feel like a twat about it all.

The problem is that for reasons I can't go into without risking outing myself I still have to see this person socially fairly regularly. In a few weeks I'm supposed to be going to a big overnight thing with him and just two other people who we know well. I'm really torn over what to do:

- I know that going will be emotionally difficult for me, leave me open to accusations that I'm still pursuing him and make me look vulnerable and above all I can't afford to show him any vulnerability right now
- If I don't go, questions will be asked, eyebrows will be raised and people (including him, probably) will be pissed off with me. Money has been spent that can't be reimbursed etc. And I'll be missing out on something which would have been a real laugh.

I guess what I'm trying to figure out is whether I can keep up the charade of being "friends" with this person and maybe gently resurrecting the friendship in a low-key way even though I've been hurt or whether I really need to cut all ties for a few weeks/months and get it right out of my system?

Dowser Sat 18-Jul-15 20:01:35

Without you going into detail about what actually happened its a bit hard but I think I'd pull my big girls pants on and fake it till I make it. Act like nothing happened. Be friendly not overly so.

Everyone makes mistakes. If he's a nice guy he will be flattered, forgiving and discreet.

newnamesamegame Sat 18-Jul-15 20:09:12

Dowser that's pretty much what I've been doing, and so far so good -- we're "OK" in the sense that we get on when we see one another, no atmosphere, bit of banter, no-one would pick up on the fact that there was a situation.

I just feel like I'm leaving myself open to accusations that I'm after him by seeing him and that the most important thing for me is to not let my guard down again and to show any weakness in front of him. But with an overnight thing it's going to be difficult, people will be drunk, the only other people there will be a couple etc.

I also just question my own motives. He wants to be friends with me and has made it clear that he genuinely wants to be friends as opposed to that just being a kiss-off, but I don't know if I'm setting myself up for a situation where he basically keeps me hanging on a string, knowing I like him but not actually reciprocating. You can't really be "friends" with someone when you have those sorts of feelings for them.

DarkNavyBlue Sat 18-Jul-15 20:22:59

leaving myself open to accusations that I'm after him by seeing him

Seems a bit odd. Who will be accusing you?

Twinklestein Sat 18-Jul-15 20:24:42

It sounds like your damned if you do and damned if you don't - in your own head anyway. I doubt anyone thinks you're pursuing him, nobody apart from you knows you have feelings for him.

If you think it would be upsetting and difficult, then you could pay the money but not go. There's no reason why you should go if you don't want to.

He's partially responsible for the situation. I'm not sure about this blowing hot then cold on his part: it may be that he wants to know he can have you but doesn't want you right now.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 18-Jul-15 20:32:39

Exactly what Dowser has said and if you should feel the need to clear the air with him prior to the event, or during any post-mortem of how it went, I would suggest you say something on the lines of 'My head has been all over the place since separating from (his name) and I really appreciate you saving me from myself - true friends like you are hard to find and I hope my bout of temporary insanity won't bring an end to our friendship'.

Resist the temptation to say 'it'll never happen again' or any words which give whatever you did/said an importance that they don't actually have in the grand scheme of things. You may have been stupid in allowing yourself to fantasise believe that there could be more to your friendship but, fortunately, he didn't allow you to make a complete twat of yourself.

Your feelings of embarrassment shows that your ego is still in good working order and you've very sensibly resisted the temptation to grovel try and override his feelings by getting him drunk persuading him to jump your bones. grin

Just remember you're an adult, not a lovestruck teenager. These things happen. No harm done and life carries on as usual.

newnamesamegame Sat 18-Jul-15 20:35:21

Twinklestein absolutely no-one knows anything except me and him. It's more that I feel a really strong need to assert some control over the situation. Basically we were having a very flirtatious friendship which was, I thought, no strings fun and I thought we might be able to take it a little bit further but without anything too heavy developing. We had both made passes at each other both of which had been turned down due to logistical reasons more than anything else but it was kind of understood that we liked one another but without anything very serious likely to come of it. (I've just come out of a long marriage so definitely not in the mood for anything heavy and he knows that.)

We were out one night, at his instigation and invitation and he kind of turned and rounded on me and started haranguing me for "wanting" him when I knew it was out of the question. It was quite aggressive and borderline rude and he sort of made out I'd been stalking him when it actually had been very laid back and very much a two-way street, to the extent that anything had happened at all. I was slightly shocked and a bit insulted and basically left abruptly.

I know trying to work out what's going on in his head is a fast-track to madness so I'm not going to dwell on that. I just need to figure out, from the point of my own mental health, if this is a friendship that has any validity or if I'm better off just getting rid completely. Up to that point I had really enjoyed his company, liked him etc. It was just very weird.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 18-Jul-15 20:35:38

It's easy to get carried away when you've just got out of a bad relationship. I did a very similar thing, got a bit too hung up on someone who had been a friend (although I'd often fantasised about taking it further, but a) wouldn't have ever been unfaithful and b) never thought he'd be vaguely interested in me).

I felt like I'd totally embarrassed myself as I made the first move and although he definitely reciprocated, he later cooled off when it became apparent that I'd like more than a cheeky snog.

FWIW, once I backed off and moved on, he contacted me and I had the pleasure of rejecting and blocking him! I realised that actually it wasn't really him I was into, just the idea of someone who wasn't XH.

I'm sure given a bit of time you'll feel the same and you'll go onto meet someone lovely and not give this guy a second thought. In the meantime the fake it approach will be your best bet.

3 years later I occasionally see him or friends of his, who I'm sure know about me 'throwing myself at him' but as I'm happily loved up with someone else I don't really give a stuff! It will pass flowers

Twinklestein Sat 18-Jul-15 20:37:35

It really depends on your personality. Some people would just tough it out, and some people are less good at hiding their feelings, and would find the weekend distressing.

You just need to figure out which suits you better, and accept that either choice is absolutely fine.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Sat 18-Jul-15 20:37:56

hmm, your update makes him sound a bit up himself! I'm not sure I'd even want him as a friend after that, I'd be going with cold and distant but polite, certainly not telling him he'd been a great friend!

goddessofsmallthings Sat 18-Jul-15 20:40:40

You can't really be "friends" with someone when you have those sorts of feelings for them.

You can if you recognise that "those sorts of feelings" are of the rebound variety and are therefore transitory in that any man who appears to be halfway reasonable can look good after the end of an unsatisfactory marriage/long term relationship.

You're in danger of investing far more time in this that it deserves and, in doing so, you're compounding what shouldn't be a problem - and wouldn't be to someone who was more emotionally robust.

Big girls' pants are the order of the day, or the night of the event as the case may be - and make sure you keep them on. smile

Twinklestein Sat 18-Jul-15 20:41:03

Xpost - just read your update.

Cancel the weekend. Fuck that, fuck him. Ignore him for good. What an arse.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sat 18-Jul-15 20:41:08

Ok so you liked him, you flirted and he showed some strange colours.

So take it as a good early warning system that this isn't the person for you.

Go on the trip, maintain a thickly applied veneer of politeness and distance with him and focus on the other couple, or if it's in a social setting - the other people there.

I would avoid the friendship generally after that and focus on finding some new ones and widening your circle.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 18-Jul-15 20:48:49

X posted with your update which suggests he's been toying with you, in which case all you have to do is disengage from his game playing and work out whether you want to be friends with a man who enjoys pulling the wings off flies uses women he senses may be vulnerable to fuel his most probably over-inflated ego.

truthaboutlove Sat 18-Jul-15 20:50:21

Well he's definitely not a good friend is he? Even if you did embarrass yourself, under the circumstances he could have just laughed it off.

I wouldn't go myself.

WorzelsCornyBrows Sat 18-Jul-15 20:57:20

Cancel the weekend. Your update validates my initial suspicions. He's not a good friend. If he didn't want to ruin the friendship he shouldn't have gone along with the flirtation in the first place. It sounds like he took advantage of someone who was still trying to figure themselves out, to have a bit of fun.

newnamesamegame Sat 18-Jul-15 21:01:24

MarkRuffaloCrumble I think he is quite up himself, though he has sides to him which aren't like that as well. But he definitely showed me quite an ugly side of his personality.

newnamesamegame Sat 18-Jul-15 21:08:40

goddess and truth think you're both right... I don't think he's really much of a friend at all. I don't think he "took advantage" as such as I was as much of an instigator as he was. But I think because I was fairly upfront about the fact that I was attracted to him he used that to assert superiority over me.

I think its also true that if my head weren't all over the place I wouldn't look twice at him.

If it weren't for the fact that our social circles are very entwined I would basically have consigned him to the dustbin. Unfortunately its not possible for me to do that without prompting suspicion and upset among our friends, so I think I just have to be polite and friendly up to a point but make it subliminally clear that I have no respect for him as a human being.

MelenyWebster Sat 18-Jul-15 21:13:12

As for your overnight stay - just don't drink alcohol and fake it 'til you make it - simples.

Stop giving this guy head room - concentrate on your DC.

cerealqueen Sat 18-Jul-15 22:20:34

He kind of turned and rounded on me and started haranguing me for "wanting" him when I knew it was out of the question. It was quite aggressive and borderline rude and he sort of made out I'd been stalking him when it actually had been very laid back and very much a two-way street, to the extent that anything had happened at all. I was slightly shocked and a bit insulted and basically left abruptly.

Your 'friend' sounds like a right cocky patronising git to be honest. Go to the event and keep him at arm's length to show him he is no longer of interest to you. On your return slowly cut the ties. Get a non mutual friend to text you all night, (I'd happily do it!!! Seriously!!) smile when you read them say nothing. That'll show him.

ImperialBlether Sat 18-Jul-15 22:31:13

Who is it that's going to think you're after him if you go to this event?

You say he'll be pissed off if you don't go - why is that?

ImperialBlether Sat 18-Jul-15 22:32:19

Get a friend to text you a few times throughout the night - read the texts and smile. If asked tell him they're from someone you've started seeing.

MudCity Sat 18-Jul-15 22:45:14

You have seen his true colours. In a weird way you can be grateful for that as it saves you investing any more energy in him.

I would give him a wide berth from now on. Invest in other friends instead. He sounds like a man with lots of issues. Avoid.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 18-Jul-15 23:03:01

How long have you known this guy? Is he part of a long-established circle of friends who know you and your ex, or have you met him since you broke up with your h?

How has it come about that you are due to attend an overnight event with him in the company of what appears to an established couple, and what arrangements have been made in respect of accomodation for the 4 of you?

How many will be attending the event and will others you know be present?

Twinklestein Sat 18-Jul-15 23:04:04

It sounds like he'll think she's after him, or he might twist it that she is.

Why 'fake it til you can make it'? Why not just be completely honest with yourself and say he's a knob and you don't want to spend an evening with him.

Life's too short.

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