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What on earth am I playing at

(173 Posts)
youfoolwoman Sat 26-Jul-08 19:57:19

I have a male friend I have know for many years in a purely platonic way. We are both in long and happy marriages.

Recently, I seem to have gained a new sense of self-confidence, which seems to have made me attractive to men for practically the first time in my life (several have mentioned it and I am simply not used to that kind of thing) Anyway this friend is among them and we have been spending more and more time together, although we have not slept together and I am determined we won't, he has made it clear he would like to.

This is very difficult to explain and I have given it a lot of thought, but whilst I am very flattered and enjoying the attention, I honestly don't find him physically attractive. I have tried fantasising about him (to test myself) and it really doesn't work, he just doesn't turn me on. But, I do love the time we spend together, he's great fun and the hours fly by.

There has recently been some touching blush e.g if it's a cold evening, he'll put an arm round me, or (even more blush )he has been known to massage my shoulders. For me this just feels companionable and really cosy TBH, but I know it's not like that for him.

Neither of us have ever met the other's spouse, so it somehow seems that when we're together we're living in a kind of parallel reality, the lives we live with our families are somehow part of a completely different life IYSWIM.

I know I need to spend less time with him, but we share a desk at work so it's not that easy and in any case I would be losing a really valued friend. We have talked about it and agreed it can never become anything more than it is, but that we really enjoy each other's company. Neither of us is unhappy at home and would never ever want it to impact on that. So on the face of it, we remain just good friends, but the reality is that when we're together there's always something in the air.

We could make sure that there are always others there when we're together, but the fact is we have a better time when we're alone. You know how if you have a really good girl friend, it's fun to go out with a group, but you have the best conversations when it's just the two of you?

I can't help thinking we're playing with fire and it can only end badly. Can anyone see a way for us to stay friends, without hurting people we love and/or ending up hating each other? Thank you if you got to the end. I'm really struggling to see a way forward for this friendship, but it would be a massive loss to me if it has to end. I've known him for almost 20 years.

macdoodle Sat 26-Jul-08 20:01:37

Do you want sympathy or advice ?? Not clear to me know the right thing to do but don't seem to want to do it hmm
His poor DW your poor DH - you barely mention them so nice to know you think of them

morningpaper Sat 26-Jul-08 20:04:14

You don't seem to have done anything wrong, unless the 'something else' he wrapped around you was his vast schlong

(I may have read that part incorrectly)

"Can anyone see a way for us to stay friends, without hurting people we love and/or ending up hating each other?"

Well yes - don't shag each other. Don't have an affair. Just behave yourselves. You aren't madly in love with each other so I don't see the harm in continuing your relationship. A bit of frisson isn't a terrible thing.

themoon66 Sat 26-Jul-08 20:06:19

Oh I have several gentleman friends like this. I've managed to not shag any of them. It would ruin things if I did. I don't fancy them in that way in any case, but you know blokes... they wouldn't say no if it were offered.

Don't shag him and spoil it all.

oi Sat 26-Jul-08 20:07:25

I think mp is right but I think, from what you have said, that this means MUCH more to him than you.

So for you it's a bit of harmless flirting and fun but for him, he's wanting to shag and wanting more and tbh, it sounds like to me that you're using him for his friendship and closeness knowing full well that this is MUCH more to him than you?

oi Sat 26-Jul-08 20:08:33

I sometimes think with these sort of friends you should meet each other's partners. Because that can totally diffuse the situation.

Gobbledigook Sat 26-Jul-08 20:09:59

I agree with MP, I sounds dangerous though. Flirting is exciting and ego boosting when you are married and have no intention of leaving your husband.

Can you keep your head though? If you have any doubt and want to keep your family together you need to back off (obviously).

I guess it's a case of how strong willed you are, how much you want to stay with your dh etc.

How would dh react if he knew there was this flirting going on?

tiredandgrumpy Sat 26-Jul-08 20:10:47

I think the reason this all seems a thrill is because life at home isn't. Can you invest some time in jazzing up life with your dh? I often fantasize about breaking free and doing something wild or naughty, but realise that it's because homelife has become hard work. When I put a bit of effort into enjoying time with dh, life outside doesn't seem so enticing.

morningpaper Sat 26-Jul-08 20:12:19

How have you known each other for almost 20 years and not met each other's spouses?

Also, if you have known each other for that long and are that close, and you are genuinely worried that he has feelings for you that might be a problem, then I would just discuss your feelings, like grown-ups.

DisenchantedPlusBump Sat 26-Jul-08 20:16:03

You are both married, you don't fancy him but you let him massage you? You don't find him attractive but you know he does you. hmm

Sounds to me like you are just leading him on and jepodising your marriage for the sake of a man you don't even feel an attraction to!


Your poor spouses.

youfoolwoman Sat 26-Jul-08 20:21:12

macdoodle I don't want sympathy, I genuinely want to know if there is any way I can continue this 20 year friendship. I didn't mention our partners because the post was quite long enough. DH is the love of my life and knows this very old friend apparently suddenly finds me attractive.

morningpaper that's exactly what I wanted to hear - but do you think his wife would feel the same way? Is his relationship with his wife my problem (provided obviously that I don't sleep with him) I can't help how he feels about me after all?

oi you're right this is more to him than me and he knows that, but I'm not sure if the more is sexual or emotional IYSWIM. IMO if it's sexual, he'll just have to live with it/get over it, but I don't want to play with his emotions. I do enjoy the closeness, but it's been like that for many years, so I don't see how I can suddenly be using him for it now.

I can absolutely guarantee that I will keep my head and never sleep with him.

morningpaper Sat 26-Jul-08 20:24:49

I don't see why his wife has anything to worry about

People get feelings for other people, that's life

It's only a problem if you take things onto a physical level

What do you think he wife should be/might be worrying about?

DisenchantedPlusBump Sat 26-Jul-08 20:28:21

The fact he's rubbing up a woman at work and has made it clear to her that he would like to sleep with her hmm

''although we have not slept together and I am determined we won't, he has made it clear he would like to.''

dittany Sat 26-Jul-08 20:31:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BBBee Sat 26-Jul-08 20:31:44

god - this sounds fine to me - you don't find him attractive and would not sleep with him and he puts his arm round you (and more? wft) so what.

Listen - for me these are the kind of relationships that keep you going, pick you up and make life that bit better. Don't get drunk worry.

Gobbledigook Sat 26-Jul-08 20:32:23

But is it clear he wants to as in he actually would if you gave the green light or as in, 'another time another place' kind of would do.

morningpaper Sat 26-Jul-08 20:34:05

I agree with BBBee

It's nice to have an office husband

And I assume that all men want to sleep with me

The thought is cheering, if not actually true

youfoolwoman Sat 26-Jul-08 20:34:15

OK, so is it not possible to be friends with a man who finds you sexually attractive? Genuine question, I've never had this problem before, as I've never really believed I could be attractive.

How do women who are attractive to most men get through life?

morningpaper Sat 26-Jul-08 20:37:02

I ensure that I never have friendships with any men who find me unattractive

BBBee Sat 26-Jul-08 20:37:29

well i can't answer that for you!

(but do assume ALL men want to sleep with me like MP)

BBBee Sat 26-Jul-08 20:38:15

MP= morning paper not my MP who is tory hideousness personified.

Gobbledigook Sat 26-Jul-08 20:40:19

Ha ha!

Of course you can be friends with men that find you sexually attractive - you have a bit of a flirt, it's good for the ego, you know you've still got it! It's a laugh, it's human nature FGS, you just don't ever act on it - you accept it for what it is and enjoy it while at the same time having a perfectly happy an interesting life with your dh.

Er, doesn't everyone do this?

[although I have to say I don't allow other men to massage my shoulders!]

youfoolwoman Sat 26-Jul-08 20:40:34

BBBee that's lovely to hear, I'd just about given up and you're absolutely right about the pick you up - ATM for both of us work is a happy place to be and we do spend a lot of time there smile so how can that be a bad thing?

See MP I've never felt like that, I've always assumed most men would rather jump off a cliff. {grin]

Gobbledigook - it would have already happened if I'd let it.

dittany I think he would put his arm round me, in a laddish matey kind of way, in front of DH yes and it was only a shoulder massage with clothes on!

abouteve Sat 26-Jul-08 20:40:42

Sounds to me that he is a colleague and that your relationship has become closer recently.

You sound as though you are enjoying the attention. Love affairs don't always start with physical attraction. The closer you are mentally the more you can be phycially drawn. Seems to be truer for a woman. So I think you are playing with fire. Does your DH know how close your friendship has developed?

I would back of a little and put the friendship back on the previous footing. Then you can maintain it, just less intensely.

popsycal Sat 26-Jul-08 20:41:30

I have quite a few male friends who I spend time with but not as touchy/feely as this. I the past, I have had male friends (pre=dh and pre-kids) along the lines of what you are describing and it has usually ended in a fling of some sort. Not since DH though.

Not sure what my point is though.
bee careful and be clear to him about what you want/what is acceptable. Don't lead him on

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