I said goodbye. She left but the pain stayed. Go figure.
November 15, 2008 10:17 AM   Subscribe

I told her we shouldn't hang out. Should I feel like a jerk?

I have feelings for her and she kinda-sometimes-not-100%-sure has feelings for me. We've talked about it and even tried it but she decided it was best to stay friends. This has gone on for a long time and I've been her 'friend' while masking my real emotions toward her.

We talked about our deal recently and it hit a point where I really felt I was being led on, so I told her that I couldn't hang out with her anymore, because it wasn't healthy. She disagreed and said that we should be able to hang out as friends and that my feelings for her would dissipate eventually. I told her that things couldn't be the same as they once were.

She left.

I think it's good that I put an end to it all but at the same time I feel bad. We have a history and we share some friends. I don't know, she is a great girl, but I just can't stand being around her because it brings everything back.

Did I do the right thing?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like how you put friend in quotes. You are right, you never were her friend.

You did the right thing. You were tired of having unreciprocal feelings and she loved having you around. And why? Who knows. The fact that she was disagreeing with your own personal feeliings (and acting like she could dictate how they behave) leads me to think that she liked the attention you gave her. She was flattered but she didn't want to seal the deal. She might not have been leading you on (though the off/on again feelings sure sounds like it) but just her being around caused you to lead yourself on. And it seems like you were done being in that place.

It doesn't matter that you have similar friends. It doesn't matter that you have a history. What matters is that you stick to your right decision. Don't go back until you really don't have feelings for her anymore. You've got better things to do.
posted by Stynxno at 10:32 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

I really commend you on your honesty with her and not hanging around her 'just in case', as that would be a false friendship.

Her disagreeing seems like she isn't really honoring your feelings, which isn't what friends do.
posted by Vaike at 10:39 AM on November 15, 2008 [9 favorites]

Speaking as someone going through the same thing, you made the right choice. Later on, you may decide that it no longer stings or affects you the way it has been, and then you guys can be casual, drama-free friends with little effort. Right now, though, the feelings are fresh and it's not worth the trouble you'd have to put yourself through in order to stay friends.

Seriously, do your best not to worry about this. If there's anything you can do to distract yourself, you're pretty much obligated to do it.
posted by lizzicide at 10:58 AM on November 15, 2008

I totally second lizzicide's comment. You did the right thing and do distract yourself somehow.

Ensure that you use the strong energy inside you for something better: dig deep into a study of some kind or get a job where you have to be mentally very present at all times.
posted by KimG at 11:25 AM on November 15, 2008

She wants you to be a friend. You can't really do that. You did the right thing.
posted by scabrous at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2008

I'd expect her to come back soon, hinting at a little bit more than before. You'll never get what you want though. When she does come back stay strong and say no.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:36 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

She disagreed and said that we should be able to hang out as friends and that my feelings for her would dissipate eventually.

She's the jerk, dude. She doesn't get to tell you how to feel. You did the right thing and she was playing both sides of the fence. She has some growing to do. Congrats on being an adult about this.
posted by oflinkey at 11:40 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

She... said that we should be able to hang out as friends and that my feelings for her would dissipate eventually.

The only thing wrong with what she said there was the word "should".

Sure, it works out that way sometimes, and you MIGHT end up as great friends... but you can't MAKE it work out that way. It's just lucky when it does. There's no "should."

You did the right thing.
posted by rokusan at 12:48 PM on November 15, 2008

You did the right thing. This will blow over, and you'll get a hell of a boost to your confidence knowing that you can draw and maintain the line with someone who isn't healthy for you to be around, despite your conflicted feelings. You owe it to yourself and your next girlfriend to do whatever it takes to turn the corner on this. Good luck.
posted by alphanerd at 1:09 PM on November 15, 2008

She's definitely the jerky one--she probably knew that you liked her and liked attention you gave her, and now she'll lose that. In other words, she was using you, even if there wasn't sex involved. Since you were the one being rejected, it's definitely up to you whether you stay in touch. I think you did the right thing by distancing yourself. Don't let her make you feel guilty about it.

Some of the pain you're experiencing is likely because you're mourning the loss of the "relationship"--and any hopes you had for it to develop further.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:46 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yes, you did the right thing. That's why it hurts.

Distance is almost always (and I mean 99.9% of the time) the only way to lose those feelings. Get busy, get distracted, and let the feelings wither away on their own.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 1:48 PM on November 15, 2008

I'd expect her to come back soon, hinting at a little bit more than before. You'll never get what you want though. When she does come back stay strong and say no.

I think Ironmouth is probably very right in this guess. She's already sounds a bit manipulative (esp. with the "we should be able to be friends and assume your feelings will dissipate" thing, which truly is an uncaring thing to expect) so she will probably try to lead you on to make you hang out with her again.
posted by gwenlister at 1:56 PM on November 15, 2008

You feel how you feel about her, and there's nothing you can do about that. You did the right thing.

As to why you still hurt -- well, hell, the outcome you wanted didn't happen, and that sucks. Of course you're disappointed about that -- anyone is when they don't get what they want. It makes absolute sense for you to be smarting right now. It sucks, but it makes sense for it to suck.

Good luck. You did in fact do the wise thing, even though it feels crappy right now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:24 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm doing the same thing too right now. It's been really tough. I'm not mad at her...she wasn't manipulative. But I thought things would be cool and then I saw her at a party and she kept coming up and being friendly and I seriously felt like I was going to hurl. I sent her a note later saying I didn't think I could be friends with her anytime soon. Sucks. But think about being her friend, seeing her date other people. If that makes you want to hurl, stay away.
posted by sully75 at 2:40 PM on November 15, 2008

You 10000% percent did the right thing. She's not a bad person, but her insisting that your feelings would dissipate "eventually" shows that she's essentially selfish. She may be confused and may be scared to actually take the leap but that's not an excuse.

A long time ago, I was in your shoes, only worse. It took me a year to do what you did. So I'm going to guess that she's going to keep finding reasons to contact you - not what what Ironmouth is suggesting (although I wouldn't rule that out, either).

My advice in those situations would be, delete the email, unfriend her on Facebook, block her number on your phone, and for a while, try to avoid going places that she is going to be.

If she really, truly cared about you she would honor and respect your feelings and what you need. You keep saying "she decided" as though she's the one who gets to decide. She doesn't. You do. This is the same shit I went through with someone years ago, although in my case I'm convinced he was a manipulative borderline sociopath.
posted by micawber at 2:57 PM on November 15, 2008

You absolutely did the right thing. Anyone whose response to an admission of feelings is "You'll get over it" probably isn't your friend and certainly isn't respectful of you. Stand your ground.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:35 PM on November 15, 2008

I agree that you did the right thing, but I wouldn't assign as much malice as some of the other posters have. I lived your side of this story on a number of different occasions and it basically took some time apart before I could be friends with these women again. We were young and still all figuring out how relationships worked. I'm glad I didn't spend the time demonizing them, now that we've had our space, I'm really happy to be able to be their friends again, with no real sense of bitterness.
posted by advicepig at 3:42 PM on November 15, 2008

You did the right thing, regardless of her status as saint or sinner. You have strong feelings for her, which aren't being returned and it was likely stopping you from looking for someone else who DOES want to be more than friends.

From the little you've posted, it doesn't put her in a great light, but I'm not going to immediately condemn her. It is possible you may be able to be friends again, later, if you wanted - but much, much later, i.e. in 6 months or more. Hopefully, after you've found someone else.

In the end of the day, all healthy relationships are partnerships. You both put things in, and both support each other when needed. You were investing far more than you were getting back emotionally, and that's never healthy. You can't just turn unrequited attraction off at the flick of a switch, and that she was expecting you too does say quite a bit. You did the adult, healthy thing.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2008

You did the right thing. If she can't be understanding of how this situation affects you, poo on her. She's only thinking of herself by saying "oh, you'll get over it, don't worry!" I've had to do this before and it was by far the best decision.
posted by lacedback at 9:19 PM on November 15, 2008

No advicepig, she is using him for the ego & attention, like others said. I don't see why this implies bitterness, she just doesn't unersand relationships either. If he can't deal, then he needs to drop her, delete emails, erase number, unfriend on facebook, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:39 PM on November 15, 2008

Feel good about the decision you have made, and the space it has created for you. And although I would hesitate on calling her a bad person, I wouldn't write it off, either.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:17 AM on November 16, 2008

If you had asked "what should I do here?" regarding the "before" scenario, the majority advice here would have been to do exactly what you did.

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posted by UbuRoivas at 5:03 PM on November 16, 2008

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