He loves me, I love him not
April 8, 2014 11:10 AM Subscribe
A few days ago my training partner/coach/ friend professed his feelings for me; I don't feel the same way. Help!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (32 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A few days ago my training partner/coach and friend professed his feelings for me; I don't feel the same way. Now I feel uncomfortable around him and I am avoiding going to practice and training with him. Sorry for the length of this.
Just to be clear so no one thinks there's anything inappropriate: an I am a female in my 30s and he is a male in his early 50s. I have know him for a few years now - we both belong to the same sports training group and we have often hung out socially outside the group. I have (or so I thought I had) made it clear that I am only interested in friendships and training, (as the group frowns on romantic involvement between group members, which is fine, since I am there to train and get better at my sport).
Whenever we hang out socially we just talk about training, sports, music, movies, upcoming races, etc. I am a very guarded person - I don't share a lot of personal details about my personal life and I like to keep things superficial when getting to know someone socially. I only share personal info with people that I feel close to. I view him as a training partner/coach and I don't feel close to him.
Over the past few months, we were training for a major event that required a lot of time being spent together - training. The event is now over and now we are maintaining a lesser training schedule, but we are still training together. Alone.
What has started to complicate things is that he has started buying me gifts that I have tried to give back. I told him that I don't feel comfortable accepting them. He flatly refused to take them back and that he would throw them in the garbage if I tried to give them back (in a semi-jokingly manner).
Fast forward to last Friday: a mutual friend of ours, my coach and I went to the movies (our mutual friend sat between us). My coach was in a bad mood and I couldn't figure out why, so I blew it off - I didn't want it to spoil the movie. After the movie, we all went to our cars (we arrived separately). He walked me to my car to make sure I got there safely since it was late. He then started to profess his feelings for me. Ugh, so uncomfortable. I was dumbfounded and didn't know what to say so I just stood there. After his speech, I told him that I appreciated his honesty, but that I didn't want feelings to get in the way of our FRIENDSHIP and that I hoped we could just move on. The next day, he sent me a text saying he wished he had never told me how he felt. (I wish that too.)
To further complicate things, (oh, it gets better), my on again/off again boyfriend, (let's call him Adam), of the past 10 years is starting to become on again. We have a LDR because of career choices and we try to visit each other when work schedules permit, which is maybe 2-4 times a year. Adam and I took a break a few months ago, but have remained friendly and talk a few times a week. Adam and I have decided to give it another go -- he's trying to get a transfer with his job and move to my city and he'll be coming to visit next week. My coach has met Adam a few times when he has come to visit, but I had only introduced Adam my "friend", because at the time, we were off again and I didn't feel comfortable calling him my boyfriend when he technically wasn't. I haven't shared the details about Adam and my relationship to my coach since I consider it personal and I don't share personal stuff with many people.
I feel SO uncomfortable now. I don't want to train with my coach anymore. I don't even want to train at all. I thought I could put it behind me and move forward, but now I feel like this friendship is tarnished.
How do I deal with this situation with my coach? How do I make it even more clear that I don't feel the same way without him hating me (I still want to belong to our training group)? How do I get over feeling betrayed or violated (for lack of a better word)? Should James "mark his territory" and will that resolve it? Help!!