Staying friends

This topic contains 6 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  mama 5 days, 3 hours ago.

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  • #854727 Reply


    Hi all I’m just looking for your thoughts.

    I met a guy online in the middle of lockdown (both mid thirties). Because of the restrictions we got to know each other virtually for a much longer time than I’m used to, we’d talk every day for hours for a couple of months before we eventually met and I felt like I got to know him really well. We dated for a few months, during which time he was very keen and very attentive, but then he ended it just over a month ago.

    He thought I was dating other people because of how busy I was at weekends (I wasn’t, I just have to work a lot at the moment and was seeing friends and not wanting to be rude by constantly texting a man during our time together). He was going through a divorce because of her cheating with one of his colleagues and so had a lot of trust issues. Initially he was quite passive aggressive asking me about it and not wanting to be emotionally manipulated I hadn’t put his mind at rest like I probably should have. I had liked him quite a bit but we were still in the ‘getting to know you stage’ so I wouldn’t have bet money one way or another if it was going to be a forever thing and I think he wanted guarantees.

    Anyway after a few days of silence I reached out to talk about it properly, I told him I hadn’t been seeing other people but that I thought he really should have asked me directly if he wanted to be exclusive, that I had been starting to have feelings for him and I’d like to fix things. He said he’d wished I’d said something sooner but he’d made his mind up (I live a bit further away than he’d like and I think he’d like something which progressed a bit faster than I wanted – though he’d initially decided after a period of just getting to know each other as friends that neither bothered him because I was otherwise exactly what he was looking for). He also said he was looking for something serious and had thought I wasn’t so was expecting to get hurt when I ‘got bored of him’, but me saying that I wasn’t didn’t seem to help, I don’t know if he just didn’t believe me (though he seemed to). I didn’t want to argue with him anyway so I let it go.

    We had a long phone conversation which ended up just chatting as we had done as friends and we agreed we’d stay friends afterwards. He reached out a couple of days later to chat which was really nice. I miss him but I think the conversation more than anything, we have a lot of similar interests and a similar sense of humour, I do think that if we could get to a stage where we could be friends that would be great, I don’t connect with people so easily that often, but I’m not sure what’s really ok/appropriate.

    We chatted a couple of times a week for a few weeks, initiating about 50/50. But then I mentioned I was in the area and could I pop over to pick up a sweater I’d left (he’d been meaning to post it but hadn’t had chance), he was initially a bit evasive, said he was really busy (every day for the next two weeks). I said not to worry, that I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable and just to send it still, at which point he back tracked and said that he really did still want to be friends, that there was obviously a reason we’d talked so much and he didn’t believe in throwing a friendship away just because you didn’t work out as partners, he said that he was genuinely just busy but suggested some times he was about.

    Anyway I went over, we went for a coffee, there were a couple of awkward moments, and I do think he intentionally picked a time he’d have to leave after a couple of hours, but on the whole it was comfortable and really nice to see him. I was worried I might feel emotional etc but I didn’t at all really. We ran over the time he had to go by half an hour or so and he didn’t seem anxious to leave so I don’t think he was counting down the minutes etc.

    I felt like I should give him some space since he’d seemed a lot less comfortable with the idea of hanging out in real life so didn’t get in touch at all, it’s been just over a week now (and just over a month since we stopped dating) and I wondered whether or not I should send a message to keep in touch, give him some more time or just leave him be. I don’t want to force him to keep in touch with me if he’s just saying he wants to stay friends out of guilt/to be polite but I wasn’t planning on trying to seduce him etc, and it was his decision to end things really so I guess it’s not emotionally difficult for him to see me either.

    Anyway I just wondered what you thought.

    #854733 Reply


    He’s newly divorced,
    He has trust issues,
    He communicates poorly,
    He needs time, lots of time to recover from his divorce…
    He’s kind of a mess.

    Staying ‘friends’ is just a nice blow off… & why would you want to be friends with this guy anyways?

    #854738 Reply

    T from NY

    I’m sorry about you’re break up and if you’re hurting. We’ve all been there, excited about a new thing, and then it ends. But let me put your mind at ease – this is a complete dead end situation. Typically men take a LOT longer to process their feelings after a failed marriage. Even MORE so when infidelity was involved. So that begins the issue. Secondly, you were doing everything right! But he turns it around on you for not being completely available all the time, or just hanging on his every word as though you’re not that interested. This is CLASSIC projecting on his part. Classic insecurity a person might feel if they have taken no time to process a trauma that happened to them.

    I repeat – you did nothing wrong. Its so pleasing to read about a woman who continues to live her own life working and seeing friends and not worrying about the future of a relationship because, you’re correct, you were still in the very early stages and getting to know each other.

    But leave him be. He could be perfect for you in every way but he is NO SHAPE to be a good partner, isn’t keen enough, and is making excuses. Many men after a failed relationship rush into new situations, court and woo the woman, then when it comes down to it – they can’t go any further. It’s because they are still hurting, they just wanna feel wanted, they are trying to get their mojo back – whatever. Look for an a physically and emotionally available man. If you keep pursuing this or second guessing yourself it means you’re emotionally unavailable. Wish you best

    #855057 Reply


    Check out Ava’s question from March 15 in this complicated forum (I couldn’t post a response with the link, sorry). The situation has some similarities and there’s a lot of responses about trying to date men who are getting over being cheated on, especially if they’re still separated or recently divorced, that you may find helpful.

    I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to keep in touch with him right now. If he jumped to conclusions like that without involving you or even communicating with you at all (even though it sounds a bit like he was looking for an excuse), he’s not ready to be a good partner in a new relationship yet. And that’s not on you. He still needs to do his work, which will make it difficult to even be friends because he’s not going to be reliable while he’s in turmoil PLUS he’s not a good communicator (at least for the time being), so I don’t see what you’ll be getting out of this situation if you stick around.

    #855062 Reply


    *the similar question topic is called Advice

    #855073 Reply


    You know the word “frenemy”?? No one is that busy every day for two weeks that they can’t post your sweater or let you come get it. Passive aggressive BS. Get your sweater back and stop wasting your time and energy on this man. He’s not relationship of any kind ready, he needs to go heal and you’re not in the fix-it business. You need to get on with your already wonderful life and leave the space open for a man worthy of you.

    #855107 Reply


    You both sound like you were making a lot of [incorrect] assumptions about each other even though you had long conversations and such.

    Yes I think it would be wise to give him some space — a lot of space. :) And let go of your expectations regarding him and your relationship (friend or romantically). Just let him be. By hanging on to this connection with him, your heart won’t go all in for finding someone who matches your needs/wants. He’s a detour and not in your best interest.

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