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How to quietly disentangle myself from this situation?(87 Posts)
I need advice on how to pull back from this situation.
I have a very close male friend - we talked openly about a lot of things, did a fair amount together, and chatted at least online most days. I posted a thread here at the time (under a different name) about how to know if he saw me as more than a friend or not as I had developed feelings and was confused.
After a period of things feeling quite intense (more frequent contact, more spending time alone together) he pulled back quite noticeably. I ended up telling him about my feelings, he acknowledged our connection but told me he had just started seeing someone else (which I hadn't known about), so I told him I needed to go NC while I sorted my head out. He reacted quite badly when I told him I wanted to go NC - he has since apologised but at the time was quite unpleasant.
We've since fallen back in touch (mutual friends, NC was impossible) and for various reasons I can honestly say I don't have feelings any more as have seen a different side of him. When I broke NC I told him my feelings were gone (they are), and we have over time got back into many of our old habits, albeit with much less intensity.
And while I enjoy our friendship at times, he is always talking to me about how happy this other girl is making him, how much he likes her, and how his life is so much better now. I find it really hard at times- the feelings are gone, but the feeling of rejection is still there. I've stopped contacting him on purpose, but he is still contacting me most days to chat online.
It's only been a little over a month as well - he and the other girl aren't "official" yet but he has obviously fallen very hard for her. Which is fine. I just don't need to hear all about it.
I don't want to say anything, but is there any other way to disentangle myself from this quietly?
Be happy for him, it's early days in their relationship, he'll calm the chat down after a while. Maybe get to know her.
Yes, nothing to disentangle. Although if all you are talking about is his relationship, is it worth talking to him in the first place?
Just get on with your life.
He's still in the lust bubble. Give it 12-18 months when reality bites!
I'm not sure the feelings have gone to be honest, if they had you'd really not care, just take longer and longer to respond to him, till eventually you cease contact and drift away.💐
I wonder though why he talks about it so much. Is he really talking about it a lot or is it your sensitive to any mention of her?
So within a period of a MONTH you have argued, gone NC, reconnected and are now seeing each other and messaging daily again - and you say your feelings for him have gone?? You are kidding yourself.
He knows you had feelings for him yet is still banging on about another woman? I mean I know you told him you don't have feelings for him anymore but it's still pretty insensitive. Ideally I'd say go back to no contact but if you really have to be in contact with him tell him that while you're pleased for him you'd rather not hear anymore details as things are still a little raw.
Start only replying to him every 4 or 5 days with brief responses saying how busy you are etc and he will stop messaging as much then it won't be awkward when you see him with mutual friends etc
what unfortunate says.
it feels to me he may be rubbing your nose in it, or "triangulating" you.
if he has a new love affair I don't really get why he's contacting you every day.
keeping you in reserve, an ego boost, or really values your friendship?
either way, if its hurtful for you, its probably better that you draw back and spend your energy on something more positive.
what user14 says sounds like a good way to withdraw.
I remember being on the other side of this where a now ex friend told me he had feelings for me. I did try to give us a chance to be a couple but it quickly became obvious (to me) that I didn't have romantic feelings for him. When I told him, he was annoyed but we said we would stay friends. Shortly afterwards he told me he had fallen for someone else and used ring me asking if I thought he should send flowers to her in Wed morning or wait until Thursdsy morning etc. TBH i got bored by it quickly and a part of me wondered if he was game playing. I stopped answering the phone and i remember feeling very relieved to have him out of my life.
Thanks everyone - good advice.
I don't think him bringing it up is in my mind - he's talked to me about it every day this week. I wouldn't have got back in touch if I'd known how little I like it. I didn't mind at first but it's making me feel quite raw. Maybe PP's are right - I'm not as over things as I thought I was.
And you make a good point pblac about the contact - I don't know. He has said in the past he really values my friendship and I think I may be one of the people he speaks to the most about these things.
I also wonder at what point - if this continues - is it not oK if he has another girlfriend. I don't know how I'd feel if my new boyfriend was contacting someone else every day, but maybe she won't mind at all.
Ask yourself what you are getting from the friendship and if you are feeling unhappy, you don't have to put yourself through it. Don't let yourself become his sounding board at your own expense.
I agree with pp: you're not obligated to be someone's "friend" if you yourself are getting nothing from the situation but hassle.
Im generally up for making new connections, but often as a single woman I find that "males in a relationship" (especially if we're similar ages) are a bit of a weird one.
It's like you're experiencing - I'm expected to be sympathetic sounding board but also have to be mindful of not crossing boundaries.
And often I suspect the guy is secretly enjoying having the attention of two women? I also find their social value to me is zero - they're not really that supportive, they can't organise social stuff without prioritising their relationship (which is fair play), sexist values mean they tend not to offer practical support, so all I'm getting from the situation is a drain on my time?
I had an awkward conversation with him today - I asked him if he wanted to have a coffee after he'd messaged me a couple of times, he said no but then got really defensive, saying "I'm busy, I can't, if you don't believe me check my calendar, I saw you on Monday anyway".
I replied - hang on a sec, where's this come from, is everything ok? He apologized and our conversation moved on but when we saw each other later with mutual friends he was much frostier than usual and sat messaging the new gf while I laughed with the other people. I am sensing a real underlying defensiveness and anger from him that I don't understand. His lack of interest really hurts me too - he used to be really interested in what I am doing etc and now he barely asks about how I am.
The whole thing really did upset me though - I thought I was over it, but I don't think I am. I don't know what he wants from me but whatever it is it's not working for me.
I need to not be friends with him and take all of your good advice but it will be very hard and I feel really sad about it all right now. When he didnt want more I was pleased we were still friends and it makes me sad that isn't really working out either
I think you have more feelings for him than you are admitting to yourself. I don't understand why you are continuing to take his calls and are do all the listening. Well I do understand as I've been there but all you are really doing is prolonging your own hurt. He is not going to look after you. You are going to have to look after yourself. Grieve for what might have been and step away from him.
Imo he wants to have his cake and eat it too. Put yourself and your own feelings first.
He sounds really confused too. You definitely need to step away and find some new friends. This is not normal behaviour and it is taking up far too much of your emotional time and energy.
Do yourself a massive favour and either go back to NC or set yourself some new boundaries e.g. do not reply to a message from him before at least an hour has gone by, maximum 3 messages per day, that sort of thing. Then you can make it 2 hours, 2 messages etc.
You're right If I didn't have feelings I wouldn't be feeling quite so bad as I do right now.
I grieved for the friendship but that's not working out either. He keeps contacting me but it's almost as if he's angry with me or something. There is certainly something there I don't understand.
I need to move on and stop accepting the scraps. Feel bad about it though.
Get your own relationship and stop mooning over this game player.
The only advice I can add is try not over-think his side - he may be confused himself about how he's "supposed" to behave towards you and feeling awkward and being clumsy - rather than 'up to something' consciously, IYSWIM.
Your relationship is bound to be changed after your 'declaration' - you might find you are still good friends down the line, but at the moment you need to make it clear to him that while he's a valued friend, you can't really cope with/aren't comfortable with being closely involved in his day-to-day life and you need to take a step back. I have dear friends who I've been though this with (both ways at different times (!) and we are still in each others lives.
Someone who is your closest confidante at one point may well not be that one for ever. It happens when a 'BFF' gets married, has kids, gets promoted....don't try to fix his 'role' in your mind, just let things slide along for a bit?
..still in each others' lives but the closeness comes and goes as circumstances change. And I'm talking decades now!
It sounds like you still have feelings for him. I don't think he is being very fair to you by continually going on about his new girlfriend. If I was you I would continue to respond but with longer gaps in responses and keep it light and cheery and 'surface talk'.
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