Am I being a bad friend?

Maybe you have fallen out with your mate, or perhaps you are about to betray them - whatever it is, talk about it here.
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Am I being a bad friend?

Post by rufio89 » Sun May 08, 2011 8:57 pm

Hello All,

Right, I have this friend. We've known each other a few years but I'd never spent any time one-on-one with him until the last month. He started talking to me on facebook about a month ago, and he's out of work now and is bored and I've had a lot of spare time (being single and not really sure how to spend my time yet) and so I've been spending a lot of time talking to him or with him. We've become really good friends. So what's the problem eh?

So! It's come to my attention that he almost certainly has "romantic" feelings towards me. He's not said anything to me outright, but the way he talks to me, the way he looks at me, it's become obvious and I'm worried that his feelings are deepening.

He's been single for a long time and I know he really wants a girlfriend and I suppose I'm worried that maybe I'm leading him on?

I've tried to make sure I'm not flirting with him and that I make it clear that he's just a friend, but as he's not ACTUALLY said anything, I feel that saying "I dont fancy you" would be a bit harsh?

I dont know really, I suppose I'm wondering if it's FAIR to pursue a friendship with someone I'm fairly certain has romantic feeling for me, knowing how hard it is to be on that side of it, or do you think I should just stop worrying and think he's a big boy and if it gets too much for him then that's his problem??

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Re: Am I being a bad friend?

Post by ILoveChristmas » Mon May 09, 2011 9:00 am

I got to the end of your first paragraph and though to myself "ah, I know what's coming next"!

If you are genuinely not being flirtatous while he's around, keeping the conversation entirely light-hearted and appropriate and haven't said anything that would suggest an interest in him then it's certainly not your fault if he's managed to develop feelings for you.

If we step back and look at it from a distance then it's hardly surprising though. He's single, he's probably feeling dejected and low because he's out of work and then along comes this attractive young woman who actually wants to spend time with him and hey presto, he's got 'feelings' for you.

That's how I imagine it working anyway.

But back on topic. I think you're right that coming right out and saying "I don't fancy you" is a bit too harsh, but at the same time I think you do need to say something that's sensitive and yet clear at the same time. You don't want to hurt him and you don't want to get yourself mixed up in an emotional mess that also ends a friendship, both of which will happen if he does have feelings and you let them continue unchecked.

Why not bring up in casual conversation next time how much you're enjoying being single and just spending time with friends? Stress the friends part and hopefully he'll take the hint that you see him under the same umbrella.

If you're still getting signals from him then you'll need to be a bit more brutal about it and possibly even tackle it head on, but even then you can do it sensitively. If you do have to confront the issue then you could pitch it as though it's your issue rather than his, that might at least take a little embarassment out of it.

I'm not sure you can go through your life having to consider whether someone might have feelings for you before you consider whether to be their friend or not. I do think in this case it could have been predicted, but at the same time it's still not a reason to avoid a friendship. Just be clear with him and if still doesn't work then it's his lookout. He is afterall a 'big boy'...but then you don't know that :wink:
Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. - Stephen Fry.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steve Furtick

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Re: Am I being a bad friend?

Post by Craig Alexander » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:20 pm

I've never been in that situation so I'm probably not the best person to give advice on this, but here goes:

Just a suggestion - by saying that you're a 100% straight person who has no romantic feelings towards the same sex. Drop it into a conversation in a casual way.

If he does in the meantime declare his romantic feelings towards you, then simply say something along the lines of 'I'm sorry, but I don't feel that way towards you, it's not going to happen.'

He then has a simple choice of accepting your stance (dealing with it) or by distancing himself away from you. If the latter is the case then I don't think he was such a good friend in the first place. But it's NOT your fault!

Craig Alexander

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