Friends WITHOUT benefits?
July 10, 2013 7:50 AM Subscribe
I've declined romantic overtures from X in the past. Subsequently, X made repeated friendly overtures toward me. My reciprocation of friendly overtures made X angry. I'm not sure if I need a reality check, or if X does.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Apologies for the tortured, anonymized structure of this question.
X is in my outer circle of friends: not a close friend, but one who I see at social gatherings once every month or so. I generally enjoy talking with X. About a year ago, X indicated to me that X was romantically interested in me. At that time, I very clearly told X that I wasn't interested in romance, but that I was interested in friendship. X thanked me for my straightforwardness and we went on about our daily lives. Since the time I told X that I wasn't interested, X has continued to act friendly toward me. X basically acts like a normal not-close friend would - X chats with me at social functions, etc.
Recently, X and I were both present at a social function and all seemed well, so when I subsequently hosted a social function, I invited X. At both of these functions, the person I am currently romantically involved with was present. After X left the social function I hosted, X sent me several long, angry messages telling me that I should not have invited X and that X was crushed I was involved with the person I am involved with. X also accused me of stringing X along.
Um, what? I've been trying to unpack what confuses me and makes me upset about this situation, and there are a few things:
- As I stated, X and I are not close. How is it possible that X has spent a year carrying a torch for me when we are really little more than social acquaintances? I am sort of offended by the idea, to be honest, because it makes me feel like X thinks of me as an object: otherwise, how could it be possible for X to (evidently) pine for me for so long when X doesn't even know me?
- This behavior does not seem normal to me. I am the type of person who is eventually able to be friends with an actual ex. I am almost always able to be friends with someone I briefly dated. And neither of those situations applies here. Am I missing something?
- Have I strung X along? This idea seems insane to me. I have never so much as flirted with X, and when X pitched romance I balked immediately and in no uncertain terms. The only thing I can think of that might have even planted this idea in X's head is this: a few months ago, X was not present at a mandatory professional function, and I sent X a Facebook message asking whether X was all right. Does this constitute stringing X along?