Dating and Friendship Question


#1

Hello everyone! I have a long, somewhat confusing question. I'd like some Catholic opinions.
I have a guy friend who seems to have a "crush" on me, even though I've told him (kindly) many times that I have no interest in him romantically. He claims that he is perfectly fine with being friends, but I feel like every time I'm with him he's trying to make a move on me (very subtly, an arm around my waist or trying to hold my hand, things like that), or trying to impress me.

I made the personal decision recently to keep my distance from him, because I don't think our friendship is working out that well. We've been friends for a little over a year now, and he has told me a few times now that he loves me, specifically in a romantic sense, and every time I tell him I am only interested in friendship, he claims that he is fine with that, but it still makes things very awkward.

Now, he's asked me out an yet another outing with him, and I feel that I should stick to my resolutions and say no. But, I have no excuse for not going (other than simply feeling awkward around him), and I don't know how to say no without hurting his feelings somehow. It's also his birthday (he turns 20) on the 15th, and he claims this outing would merely be to celebrate (which of course makes me feel extra bad for wanting to decline his invitation; I actually already gave him his b-day present a week ago).

My mom, God love her, thinks I should just lie. Obviously, I don't want to do that under any circumstances. Advice? Anyone have any experience with something like this?


#2

key missing info, how old are you?
you feel something wrong when you are around him and he repeatedly tries to cross boundaries you have set.
if you don't here the sirens and see the flashing lights you are not paying attention

no don't lie, tell the truth, no I cannot go with you, no I do not see any future for any relationship with you, no I will not go out with you in the future, no we cannot be friends because it would be dishonest since you are assuming more than that. If he does not leave you alone enlist your parents' help.


#3

[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:252042"]
key missing info, how old are you?
you feel something wrong when you are around him and he repeatedly tries to cross boundaries you have set.
if you don't here the sirens and see the flashing lights you are not paying attention

no don't lie, tell the truth, no I cannot go with you, no I do not see any future for any relationship with you, no I will not go out with you in the future, no we cannot be friends because it would be dishonest since you are assuming more than that. If he does not leave you alone enlist your parents' help.

[/quote]

Sorry! I forgot to mention--I'm 20 years old as well; technically I'm a few months older than he is.

And thank you for this. I have gone out with him a few times before, just to a few museums or to the movies, but I feel like he has been more persistent lately in wanting to hang out with me outside of school. He's not being being rude or perverted or anything like that, it's just sort of...obvious, I guess.


#4

well I admit I don't know what you mean by "trying to put moves on me" but if it means the same thing it meant when I was your age, he is trying to step over your boundaries and that is a danger signal. Assuming you have been straightforward and unambiguous in setting boundaries.


#5

[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:252042"]
key missing info, how old are you?
you feel something wrong when you are around him and he repeatedly tries to cross boundaries you have set.
if you don't here the sirens and see the flashing lights you are not paying attention

no don't lie, tell the truth, no I cannot go with you, no I do not see any future for any relationship with you, no I will not go out with you in the future, no we cannot be friends because it would be dishonest since you are assuming more than that. If he does not leave you alone enlist your parents' help.

[/quote]

Great advice. OP, you said you have told him in the past you don't want anything more than friendship, several times in fact. Its time to stop worrying about hurting his feelings. He needs to hear it from you as firm and blunt as you can possibly say that you are very uncomfortable with your friendship with the boy and the way he continually disrespects the boundaries of friendship. To you, you see a nice guy, to me I'm reading red flags and bells going off in my head that this is not an appropriate friendship. He is manipulating you and you're not seeing it, example, going out for his birthday when you've already given him a gift and acknowledged the day. I'm saying this from experience, your gut is telling you something is wrong with this friendship. Protect yourself instead of worrying about hurting his feelings.


#6

Do not at all feel concerned about hurting his feelings. They will be more hurt, and you also, if you continue to date him.


#7

[quote="Konohage, post:1, topic:252042"]
Hello everyone! I have a long, somewhat confusing question. I'd like some Catholic opinions.
I have a guy friend who seems to have a "crush" on me, even though I've told him (kindly) many times that I have no interest in him romantically. He claims that he is perfectly fine with being friends, but I feel like every time I'm with him he's trying to make a move on me (very subtly, an arm around my waist or trying to hold my hand, things like that), or trying to impress me.

I made the personal decision recently to keep my distance from him, because I don't think our friendship is working out that well. We've been friends for a little over a year now, and he has told me a few times now that he loves me, specifically in a romantic sense, and every time I tell him I am only interested in friendship, he claims that he is fine with that, but it still makes things very awkward.

Now, he's asked me out an yet another outing with him, and I feel that I should stick to my resolutions and say no. But, I have no excuse for not going (other than simply feeling awkward around him), and I don't know how to say no without hurting his feelings somehow. It's also his birthday (he turns 20) on the 15th, and he claims this outing would merely be to celebrate (which of course makes me feel extra bad for wanting to decline his invitation; I actually already gave him his b-day present a week ago).

My mom, God love her, thinks I should just lie. Obviously, I don't want to do that under any circumstances. Advice? Anyone have any experience with something like this?

[/quote]

Your mum is right. You should lie. It is a social lie not a truth lie. Though I have seen contrary opinions, I think that a lie is not to give the truth the other person is entitled to. That is not the case. If you ask an enemy general his plans for the battle he will lie and it is not a lie.

But I agree with some opinions that it is not up to you if his feelings are hurt. A funny story I was told of a danish father who before his daughter round the world trip said: "Do whatver pleases you" and taught her to say "no" in 60 languages.

I think that you must say no to whatever you do not want. You know, it is up to the man to be insistent if he loves you...


#8

It's never fun when you think you're going to do or say something that will probably end up hurting someone's feelings, but what you have to remember is that you're not actually hurting the guy. He has set himself up for inevitalbe disappointment by feeding his own hopes and feelings for you, in spite of the fact that you have made it clear to him more than once that you are not interested in being more than friends.

He told you he loves you, so in spite of all his claims to the contrary, he is hoping for more than friendship with you. If you know in your heart of hearts that you are not interested in him romantically and the "friendship only" gig is turning outright uncomfortable for you, you owe it to yourself for your peace of mind to put some distance between yourself and this guy. Otherwise it's just going to go from bad to worse.

I'm not going to give you any advice on how you should go about doing this. That's between yourself and your conscience. But please do yourself - and this guy - a favour and say "enough is enough" for both of your sakes. Because he's never going to set up any boundaries, guaranteed.

Hang in there. I'll be praying for you.


#9

Thank you all very much for your help! The advice is much appreciated, and I have to say that I agree with everything written here. How I will say it I do not know, but I think I will simply decline my friend's invitation.


#10

First of all, I disagree with any advice that says: lie. Do not lie. You may want to tell someone as much as he's entitled to hear and you may want to avoid being specific. But don't lie.

Next, respecting your boundaries is important. I wouldn't put it in absolute terms as if he couldn't find it difficult, struggle with it etc. but simply had to bow to your will (I don't like that approach in anybody, to be honest) but you have every right to tell a man you don't want his hand around your waist or holding your own hand. Unless you previously expressed your friendship like that (which happens in some cases), he isn't having to step down as your friend any. He's simply being asked not to make moves on you, not to make you feel uncomfortable, not to invade your personal space.

To make things catch you can use the following arguments (I'm using numbers for convenience, the order is pretty much random): 1. you understand his feelings but it is a serious thing to violate someone's privacy, in fact the privacy of his or her body, and it is no small matter to you, 2. explain to him that he won't gain anything with you by forcing romantic situations or romantic impressions—he will not gain your love this way (because it's not like you're struggling with the decision and some romantic moment could sweep you off your feet and into his arms) but he will lose your respect as a friend and person instead. At least I suppose these are the kind of arguments that could have made me listen when I was behaving like your friend. And I was. I very well know how a man feels or thinks in that position.

If you wanted to keep the friendship (because you value him as a friend, NOT as a consolation prize or pittance), you could explain to him you've made your decision, you weren't reevaluating it, there were no hopes for change, you'd be lying to him if you gave him hope, you could ask whatever you were doing or saying that were giving him hopes.

(Sometimes men interpret certain things as flirting and thus signs of interest where women think they're just being playful. Sometimes women allow flirting or similar advances because they think it will pass and be forgotten, wheras men then tend to think it's catching but more torching is needed to melt the ice. The important thing here is that words and acts should go together.)

However, if he were to become aggressive or rude, cut it all off and get help.

I've got to be running for mass but if you'd like me to explain anything, just ask (here or PM).


#11

Explain to him that it's unfair on both of you for you to continue to spend time together. It's best for him if he can move on, and it's best for you not to see him since you feel pressured by his unwanted advances.

He will no doubt tell you yet again that being just friends is fine, but you know by now that this isn't the case. Be firm and unwavering. If you waver he will try to pressure you yet again, as he has done before. Tell him the way it is, politely but firmly.

You may feel badly that you are hurting him, but keep two things in mind:
1) his actions have forced this on you. You've tried to be friends and set boundaries, and he has crossed them repeatedly (there's nothing "subtle" about arms around waists and hand-holding).
2) you hurt him less in the long run by being straight and firm with him now. It's in his best interests, as well as yours of course, to make a clean break now so you can both move on from this.

Good luck.


#12

[quote="Konohage, post:1, topic:252042"]
Hello everyone! I have a long, somewhat confusing question. I'd like some Catholic opinions.
I have a guy friend who seems to have a "crush" on me, even though I've told him (kindly) many times that I have no interest in him romantically. He claims that he is perfectly fine with being friends, but I feel like every time I'm with him he's trying to make a move on me (very subtly, an arm around my waist or trying to hold my hand, things like that), or trying to impress me.

I made the personal decision recently to keep my distance from him, because I don't think our friendship is working out that well. We've been friends for a little over a year now, and he has told me a few times now that he loves me, specifically in a romantic sense, and every time I tell him I am only interested in friendship, he claims that he is fine with that, but it still makes things very awkward.

Now, he's asked me out an yet another outing with him, and I feel that I should stick to my resolutions and say no. But, I have no excuse for not going (other than simply feeling awkward around him), and I don't know how to say no without hurting his feelings somehow. It's also his birthday (he turns 20) on the 15th, and he claims this outing would merely be to celebrate (which of course makes me feel extra bad for wanting to decline his invitation; I actually already gave him his b-day present a week ago).

My mom, God love her, thinks I should just lie. Obviously, I don't want to do that under any circumstances. Advice? Anyone have any experience with something like this?

[/quote]

I have a daughter in the same boat. Bottom line - tell him the truth: you cannot and will not go out with him anymore or be with him because 1) he told you he is romantically interested in you, 2) you told him you are not, 3) but he will not respect you. Getting touchy feely is not respecting you, nor will he be able to control that or feel differently if you let him do it. If you let him because you don't want to hurt his feelings, or he is doing it when you are unwilling, he is getting mixed messages whether you intend that or not. Take care of yourself first. You need to end the relationship.


#13

A friend of mine had a similar situation. In the end, even though she wasn't attracted to him, she ended up making out with the guy and totally crushing him 0_0. And trust me, she was a very innocent/sweet girl who no one saw capable of such a thing. I think she got bored and he was there, as terrible as that sounds...

I also know from personal experience that some guys can simply not be friends with a girl. I had to distance myself from a guy because of this. You can be direct as possible, but some will never get the message.

You might consider talking about other guys you hang out with (as friends of course) to let him know that you hanging out with him so much does not equal you liking him. But since guys like this rarely pick up on subtle hints like that, I'd try reminding him in light conversation that this next event you may be attending with him is not a date. Also, if you truly do not want to go, don't go. You don't have to lie, simply make other plans.

Finally, be aware that he may be one of those guys you could tell a million times that you don't like and he'd still be making moves on you. You will have no choice but to distance yourself for his sake and yours. Good luck!


#14

Sounds like he's hoping you'll change your mind and not listening to you. I would stop seeing him. Don't worry about his getting hurt. You were honest and gave him prior warning but he wouldn't listen. It's better to cut things off now rather than wait till you get drawn in and you both get hurt worse. :cool:


#15

Then again if most guys didn't try their hardest until they were completely dejected on the verge of giving up and then trying again regardless of how many no's a girl says, then what a sad and sorry state the world would be in.

His behaviour is not weird, it's fairly normal for a guy. Though I don't know about the hand around the waist thing. He's just trying his best.


#16

If he keeps touching you, tell him to stop. If he dosn't, you might want to end this "friendship" because is not respecting you. Tell him that! If he can't respect you this friendship is done.


#17

If I may chime in, boredom is sometimes a stimulus to risky behaviours. Also, exposure takes its toll (what I jokingly refer to as “usucaption”). Relationships based on that kind of thing are not what I’d expect to develop into a healthy relationship (barring a miracle).


#18

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