He's nice in some ways, but really annoying in others. Should I continue trying to build a friendship with him?
posted by dean_deen to Human Relations (24 answers total)
I met a guy online. Out of all the people who replied to my personals ad, he seemed like the most promising as a match: he wrote long, substantial messages that contained correct spelling and grammar, he seemed to have a good sense of humor--or at least he did at first, and when we texted we had a nice joking rapport. Plus he was pretty cute.
Then I met him in person, and his demeanor was very different than I expected; that online person vs. real world person difference came into play. I left our meetup feeling like he definitely wasn't someone I'd date, given what he told me about himself, but I thought that maybe we could be friends (although I was unsure of even that). Nonetheless, since it was just our first meeting I figured I'd give at least being friends a try. I told him that I saw us only being friends, and we've hung out twice since then.
Based on our time hanging out and our text/e-mail exchanges, I've been wondering whether I want to continue meeting up with him. But I also acknowledge I might just be too nitpicky. These are the reasons making me question whether we could be friends:
a) His sense of humor--I enjoyed it at first, and sometimes the things he says still make me laugh, but overall it kind of grates on me. He'll say joking things like, "You should do X or Y for me," or he'll say things like "I'm offended" if I reveal some point of difference between us (like stuff I haven't done or tried that he has) and I find it irritating. Maybe irrationally so, but it really bothers me. It drives me to say slightly-kidding (but only slightly) mean things back in hopes that it will discourage him from saying stuff like that in the future, which I feel bad about as soon as I say them. He usually just takes it as banter though, so it doesn't offend him (or discourage him, either, I guess).
b) His interests/maturity level--he gets a lot of pleasure of stupid things (bad movies, people doing idiotic stuff, the crazy things people say on Yahoo! answers, etc.). I don't. We went to the movies to see a recently released action-adventure flick last week, and I really enjoyed it. He thought it was just okay. He's four years older than I, but in some ways he seems like a big kid.
c) His (as of now unrequited) attraction to me--Another thing that complicates this is the fact that he's attracted to me. I've seen a lot of questions where the askers with an unrequited crush on a friend are told they should not hang out with that friend, but what about when you're on the receiving end of unrequited attraction? Part of me wonders whether, even though I told him I wasn't interested in him in that way, he continues to interact with me because he hopes that I could grow to like him in that way. Before you deem me a bit presumptuous, I only suspect this because I've been guilty of the same thing with my unrequited crushes. Plus when I told him I got just-friend-y vibes from our first meeting, he was initially a little evasive in acknowledging my lack of interest, saying "We'll see what happens." I gently insisted that my mind was made up, and he said he still wanted to be friends.
That said, we do have certain things in common: we're both foodies and neither of us drink or smoke. For the sake of mutual convenience, for our first meeting we met in an area where there wasn't a lot to do and he was perfectly happy to walk around and just peruse different stores for two hours, which is actually what I end up doing with my friends a lot of the time, so that scored him points in my book. He texts or e-mails me quite often, and for a recent college grad who just moved back to her hometown having that sense of connection is nice.
What's made me call the value of this friendship into question is the last time we hung out. It was just boring. I didn't have a lot to say, and I wasn't super-interested in what he had to say, either. But the former circumstance could have been because we had texted so much that he pretty much knew everything that had gone on with me recently so I didn't have much to share, and also I was driving around in an area I wasn't familiar with so I was concentrating more on that than being a good conversationalist. This was the third time we hung out, and I guess the aforementioned circumstances really magnified the things about him that bother me, whereas the second time we hung out I noticed them but let them slide since I had a reasonably good time. That said, if someone built a time machine and I had to pick between our disappointing last hang-out and just staying in at home, I still would probably pick hanging out with him.
There have been cases where I've sensed when a person and I wouldn't become very good friends, and I'm definitely getting that sense with this guy. But I don't know if I'm in a position to really be so picky, so should I stick it out and see if I can build a friendship with him, or should I try and extricate myself from any future interactions? If it's the latter, what's the best way to do it?