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Enforcing no contact - cruel to be kind

(20 Posts)
Doodal Sat 11-Aug-18 22:36:02

A friend of mine has declared some hefty feelings for me which aren't reciprocated. He's going through a very hard time at the moment.

I've said I'm unable to remain in contact with him given his feelings. He continues to message me - not frequently and not anything beyond what a friend would send.

No contact feels so cold - ignoring his messages feels so harsh even if it is for the best. This is the right thing to do, isn't it? I have some friends who say that I should block him, others who say respond occassionally to reiterate my reasons. I care about him and I'm finding it really hard to know what to do.

Lemonyknickers Sat 11-Aug-18 22:40:41

Well you've asked for no contact so he's not respecting that and he can't be surprised you're not answering back. I'd be annoyed at the lack of respecting my wishes and worry that a small bit of contact will then allow him to push for more, but ultimately it's up to you to decide if you want to try the friends route. IME that rarely holds though once someone has declared love.

FlibbertyGiblets Sat 11-Aug-18 22:55:32

He's not listened re your boundaries, has he? He's trampled them. Block him. He's an asshole.

Tictactic Sat 11-Aug-18 23:01:28

Doodal
As others said he isn't respecting your boundaries. If you're now uncomfortable and dont want him as a friend then ignore or block.

Doodal Sun 12-Aug-18 09:22:23

I'm not uncomfortable per se, I feel guilty that I didn't see it coming and that I've introduced additional complication to his life at a time when he doesn't need it. But I don't want to make things worse.

He normally would respect boundaries, but i suspect the hard times he's going through makes that impossible right now.

But you're right, I will continue with no contact and block if he becomes persistent.

ahYerWill Sun 12-Aug-18 10:21:44

I think responding will only draw things out, but I'm a bit unclear on why you've cut him off.
No contact is normally advised when you're trying to get over someone (and therefore need the space) rather than the other way round. Not everyone needs no contact to move on from someone and it really needs to be their decision. If you're doing this to help him, then actually maybe he needs your friendship more at this difficult time, and would be ok just being platonic.

If you cut him off because he was behaving badly/making you uncomfortable, that is of course an entirely different matter and you should definitely block and ignore.

MudCity Sun 12-Aug-18 10:29:39

Are you in a relationship OP? Is that why you feel the need to cut him off or is it that you are simply feeling uncomfortable?

I once read that there is no kind way to respond to this, only a clean way. It is advice I have given a friend who was experiencing something similar. She has stopped responding to messages. A month on, the messages are less frequent and less intense (just weekly now). Not responding to messages doesn’t necessarily feel comfortable but, if she were to respond intermittently, it would be even worse.

Clean is the way to go.

SendintheArdwolves Sun 12-Aug-18 10:49:34

Ignoring him is absolutely the best thing to do. He knows why - you have told him very clearly that you don't return his feelings and that NC is what you want.

If you respond, you will just get his hopes up - he will think "Doodal said she didn't fancy me, but now she's replying to my messages - she must have changed her mind. If I keep pushing she'll probably change it to the point where she realises she's in love with me".

So he will up the campaign. And you will feel even more trapped and concerned for him, but also guilty. And he will tell you its all your fault because you "sent mixed signals" and "led him on".

Doodal Sun 12-Aug-18 10:55:56

I'm not in a relationship, no. I feel like cutting contact is needed because it's "clean" like a pp says and because he doesn't need anymore complication in his life. He's had these feelings a long time - 2+ years.

I think it's right there is no kind way to do this. It feels awful and I care about him but I can't with good conscience stay in contact with him knowing it could give him false hope.

MudCity Sun 12-Aug-18 12:11:46

You are being fair and kind by being clean and clear.

No point saying one thing and then confusing him with actions that say the opposite.

You are doing what is best for both of you,

LeavingLasVegasForGood Sun 12-Aug-18 12:31:34

So am I right in thinking that you have implemented No Contact in order to best help him get over you? Or in order to protect yourself because you don't actually want to hear from him because you're uncomfortable? I guess it doesn't matter either way - if you don't want contact you're perfectly entitled to insist on that, whatever your reasoning.

The only thing I will say is that intermittent responding will be the most pain you can cause him. Think about it: he is desperate for contact, or any sort of evidence that you might have changed your mind. If you provide the hope and elation that comes with a response (any response) intermittently, he will drive himself nuts constantly trying to get that reward. You need to be consistent and clear in your dealings with him.

If you have asked him not to contact you and he is still doing so, then that's his bad. He really should be respecting your request.

Doodal Sun 12-Aug-18 12:45:45

leaving Yes to help him get over me. I care about him a lot but can't be in a relationship with him. It hurts that we can't be friends but I can't stand the thought of causing him pain

CuriousaboutSamphire Sun 12-Aug-18 13:05:56

Stop it! Are you really willing to make yourself feel more uncomfortable in order to make another adult happy? He has already shown you he doesn't really see you as an autonomous individual, or he'd have taken "No contact" as an instruction not a suggestion.

You aren't causing him pain, he's doing that to himself, but he will cause you a lot more of it if you allow him to emotionally blackmail you into any kind of relationship.

The only way any of that ^ ^ isn't applicable is if you believe one adult MUST do what another adult wants simply because they say so... or that a woman simply must do what a man wants, because that is how we are socialised!

Stop and think. Why do you feel bad because he has feelings you don't reciprocate? Why do you feel you need to fix something he is breaking?

Doodal Sun 12-Aug-18 16:23:06

I feel bad because I should have picked up on this earlier and I have unintentionally caused him pain. I know how much unrequited love sucks so I feel sorry for him. Not nearly enough to enter into any kind of relationship with him - that just won't happen. And I feel bad that I can't help him through this rough patch. It's not my fault he's in love with me - I know that. But perhaps I could have managed the situation better.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 13-Aug-18 08:47:25

Oh! OK! And he has no obligation to have done the same?

You are still owning his behaviour... it isn't yours, let it go. You are just martyring yourself now!

Doodal Mon 13-Aug-18 10:35:26

He does have an obligation, but he's very very unwell.

I do have a tendency to martyrdom, so that's a fair comment. I am usually quite strong about stuff like this, it's just he's so vulnerable. I think I'll always feel guilt over this, no matter how misplaced it is.

CuriousaboutSamphire Mon 13-Aug-18 10:43:26

smile At least you can see your weakness. Seriously, give yourself a break, take care of your own health.

Musti Mon 13-Aug-18 11:18:06

When I broke up with an ex who still had feelings for me I went no contact (unless it was necessary) for a few years until he found a girlfriend. As much as I missed him as a friend, I wanted him to move on.

WhyDelilah18 Mon 13-Aug-18 11:22:44

Agree with the pp who said intermittent reinforcement is the worst outcome for him. Now you’ve said nc every time you break that you risk giving him hope you’ve seen what you’re missing and changed your mind

Doodal Mon 13-Aug-18 12:38:29

Thank you for the advice all smile

It's a bit shitty but I will make it less shitty by being firm with no contact and not responding to any messages.

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