March 18, 2012 11:38 PM Subscribe
I need help setting limits and protecting my feelings in friendships with men.
posted by bearette to Human Relations (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm single, in my early 30's, and seem to have, in the past year or so, developed a pattern of having several male friends who are unavailable for dating, but who act sort of intimate or flirtatious with me. I like this, because on the one hand I like not being tied down in a relationship, but at the same time, sometimes it hurts.
One of my good male friends used to be a coworker, and has had a girlfriend since I've known him. We spent a lot of time talking at the office and became friendly while rarely hanging out outside of the office. There was a lot of sexual tension. We no longer work together but talk online frequently and also meet up maybe once every 2 weeks, usually with others.
Last night he chatted with me online, saying he was thinking of breaking up with his girlfriend. I tried to remain as objective as possible and encouraged him to communicate with her, but I couldn't help feeling hopeful that he and I would have a chance. Then, today, he told me that things are fine after they talked. And I felt so disappointed.
Right now I am thinking I should a.) stop inviting him out,[he often will come out with me and others, but does not suggest outings himself] and b.) stop being available so much to chat online. I think these things will help me to feel less hurt. I'm very good at listening, counseling people, and saying things to make them feel better when they are hurt. I truly like helping people, but at times I feel so disappointed and hurt when I am invested.
I wonder if any of you can help me set limits by giving me some concrete ideas about how to act with guy friends I am interested in but who are not available? (the above is just an example; there are others).