Tried not to hurt her, and that's what hurt her

Page 1 of 1 [ 5 posts ] 

FireyInspiration
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Mar 2014
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 540
Location: Unknown

10 May 2014, 12:20 am

Wasn't sure to put this here, or in the 'social skills and making friends' section, because both are relevant here.

So, I have a friend who seems to be a male version of the 'mother hen' type, and him and I have been friends for years. About a year ago, he introduced me and a few of this other friends (some of whom were also mother henned by him), hoping we'd all become friends with each other, and got mixed results. However, me and one of his other friends who he mother henned, who was the only female of the bunch, got along the best out of anyone, as her and I had a lot in common.

It was great for a few weeks, we would hang out mostly the three of us a lot, until a few months later when I started developing feels for her. After a few months, him (the mother hen friend) and a few other mutual friends had almost all picked up on this, and encouraged me to 'take a shot' at her, but to be careful what I said, since she's easily hurt and has anxiety problems. Over this time my bond with her got better, and I thought of how I was going to 'make my move'. I waited until I knew what to say, how I could say it as gently as possible and when she wasn't feeling stressed...which was yesterday. The three of us had just finished hanging out, and he gave her and I some privacy, knowing that was when I was going to ask her. I started off saying I didn't want to pressure her or make her feel uncomfortable, and compared the bond we had to that of other couples. Overwhelmed, she politely said 'no' saying that she thought I 'am a great guy, the one of her male friends she would be the most likely to date, and a good friend', but she just didn't have the same feelings, and that she felt guilty about saying no. I told her that I thought she made the right decision given that, and tried to make her feel better by saying that if she had 'faked it', and said yes just to make me happy, it would have made things worse, to which she agreed. I asked her if I had made things awkward between us and she said it hadn't. A few minutes later I thanked her for her honesty and left. Her and the mother hen friend hung out for another half hour or so.

A few hours after, the mother hen friend texted me, saying he knew what happend and wanted to meet up and make me feel better. When he asked how I was doing, I told him the truth: I was very disappointed, a little hurt: but not mad and I'd be able to get over it, but also that I appreciated his concern. When I asked him to see if she felt bad, he asked 'how honest do you want me to be?' I said 'completely honest'. He said 'she thinks you're such a great guy, that she feels really bad about not feeling the same way about me as I feel about her'. He went on to say that she cried out of sheer guilt, and she assumed I hated her, and she was terrified she'd lose me as a friend.

What, if anything, should I say to her next time I see her, to let her know she shouldn't feel guilty about saying 'no'?



SquidinHostBody
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 12 Apr 2014
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 211

10 May 2014, 12:34 am

The best advice I can give, is to try to hang out with her as soon as possible, and just go back to the way you were. If she finds that you aren't too shaken up about it, she has no reason to be shaken up. You two were getting along very well prior to you asking her out, so I see no reason why you can't go back to that.

Kudos on having the courage to ask, and the strength to handle the rejection.



FireyInspiration
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Mar 2014
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 540
Location: Unknown

10 May 2014, 11:56 am

SquidinHostBody wrote:
The best advice I can give, is to try to hang out with her as soon as possible, and just go back to the way you were. If she finds that you aren't too shaken up about it, she has no reason to be shaken up. You two were getting along very well prior to you asking her out, so I see no reason why you can't go back to that.

Kudos on having the courage to ask, and the strength to handle the rejection.


Sounds like good advice, thanks. Do you think I should talk to her directly about it, pulling her aside if there's others there, or is it best to show I'm not too hurt by not even mentioning it unless I'm asked?



Waterfalls
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Jun 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,075

10 May 2014, 12:42 pm

I don't usually post in love and dating but you caught my attention.

Depending what seems best you can either pretend it never happened or tell her that you really respect her courage in saying what she felt, and are glad to be her friend. And that if she were to ever change her mind, you'd totally respect that too. But you're friends, nothing more, unless she tells you so.

Crying, assuming you hate her, and feeling terrified, unless your friend is exaggerating to make you feel better, are much stronger emotions than would be typical for the situation. Tread especially carefully if you think she might be an Aspie. Relationships and socializing and changing roles are confusing, at times terrifying, to some of us females with ASD. It takes awhile to adjust to a shift in how others seem. And it's scary. If I were her, I think I'd prefer you were clear you want to be friends, or more if she wanted, and to see you return to acting as friendly as you did before.

But I wouldn't be crying and terrified if this were me unless I felt some degree of love. Maybe this is just the love of a true friend, maybe not. I wouldn't let on you know how upset she's been, though. Keeping things calm and light with her is the best thing for restoring her comfort with you.



FireyInspiration
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Mar 2014
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 540
Location: Unknown

10 May 2014, 3:20 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
I don't usually post in love and dating but you caught my attention.

Depending what seems best you can either pretend it never happened or tell her that you really respect her courage in saying what she felt, and are glad to be her friend. And that if she were to ever change her mind, you'd totally respect that too. But you're friends, nothing more, unless she tells you so.

Crying, assuming you hate her, and feeling terrified, unless your friend is exaggerating to make you feel better, are much stronger emotions than would be typical for the situation. Tread especially carefully if you think she might be an Aspie. Relationships and socializing and changing roles are confusing, at times terrifying, to some of us females with ASD. It takes awhile to adjust to a shift in how others seem. And it's scary. If I were her, I think I'd prefer you were clear you want to be friends, or more if she wanted, and to see you return to acting as friendly as you did before.

But I wouldn't be crying and terrified if this were me unless I felt some degree of love. Maybe this is just the love of a true friend, maybe not. I wouldn't let on you know how upset she's been, though. Keeping things calm and light with her is the best thing for restoring her comfort with you.


She definitely has a history of strong emotions, and has a few aspie traits, but as far as I know she isn't diagnosed so I can't be sure. Her crying and assuming I hate her is something that happened in front of our mother hen friend...she doesn't know that I know so she can't be doing it to make me feel better. As I said in the OP, she has anxiety issues so those might be contributing to the situation. The mother hen friend also said that when I left after asking her out, I seemed completely dejected (I'm terrible at hiding my emotions).

I definitely do want to make it clear I still want to be friends with her, so that's something I want to try to say. I'm definitely open to everything you've said, but I'm also afraid that she would develop feelings for me after mines for her faded, reversing the situation.

Thanks for your help, I'll keep what you said in mind



886
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,662
Location: SLC, Utah

11 May 2014, 4:50 am

FireyInspiration wrote:
He said 'she thinks you're such a great guy, that she feels really bad about not feeling the same way about me as I feel about her'. He went on to say that she cried out of sheer guilt, and she assumed I hated her, and she was terrified she'd lose me as a friend.

What, if anything, should I say to her next time I see her, to let her know she shouldn't feel guilty about saying 'no'?


It's not her fault she doesn't feel the same way about you as you do her, you're right. Anxiety does that to people, they never have to let someone down before, when they do, it hurts em because they're afraid of how to do it, and the consequences.

But keep in mind, these feelings almost never randomly change. If you plan on being friends with her, plan on being friends with her. If you can't handle that, or if you're hoping for more, don't torture yourself.


_________________
If Jesus died for my sins, then I should sin as much as possible, so he didn't die for nothing.


Persevero
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 25 Mar 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 245

11 May 2014, 6:55 am

From what I gather, you did the best you could. Don't feel too bad, that'll just create a circle of interpersonal anxiety. Don't let this experience change your view of future possible relationships.

A lot of great advice was given already as well.



FireyInspiration
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Mar 2014
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 540
Location: Unknown

11 May 2014, 9:07 am

I sent her a really long message on facebook to try to calm her down that essentially said I don't know quite how she feels, but our full honesty in this situation shows we're capable of being good friends. She had a brief reply saying she'd also be really happy to remain really good friends.

Her and I were already great friends before I developed feelings for her, so I hope we can go back to that. Maybe now that I'm in that mindset, the feeling could fade after a while.

Looks like this situation seems to be improving. Thanks for everyone for their advise



The_Face_of_Boo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 16 Jun 2010
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 29,860
Location: Beirut, Lebanon.

11 May 2014, 9:58 am

I hate those situations.



FireyInspiration
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 Mar 2014
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 540
Location: Unknown

17 May 2014, 3:47 pm

Final update and happy ending: I hung out with her, the mother hen friend and two other mutual friends yesterday. Things were awkward for like an hour before they straightened out naturally, so the situation is resolved and we're still friends. Thanks to everyone who gave advice



dregj
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 20 Nov 2013
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 66

17 May 2014, 4:31 pm

Your a better person than i.
I just cannot just be friends after stating my feelings
i did this for years
got put in the friend zone .
it was torture watching her with one giant loser after another
never again



Archdevilius
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 127

17 May 2014, 7:37 pm

You're a great guy but...if you were so great, why isn't she performing fellatio on you, that's what you need to ask yourself.

Forget her, find someone who will love you and move on..

Just read your last response, good work, moving on is the way forward.



Ferrus91
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 311
Location: Kent, UK

17 May 2014, 8:33 pm

Waterfalls wrote:
But I wouldn't be crying and terrified if this were me unless I felt some degree of love. Maybe this is just the love of a true friend, maybe not. I wouldn't let on you know how upset she's been, though. Keeping things calm and light with her is the best thing for restoring her comfort with you.

Perhaps, I am barking up the wrong tree here, but it could be a kind of pity. Someone who is more sensitive as this particular case is might be more susceptible, it can be a powerful emotion at times under certain circumstances. You know because... I think there might be a clash in her head between what she feels she 'should' feel - about someone she likes a lot and would be attractive but for the more subconscious level of... a kind of essential unattractive presence of many aspies.

This is why it is all fine and well slapping backs, congratulating him on having the courage etc, great. And who knows, it might have its fruits. But her response, and flip-side to that, the much more nasty response of shaming, or humiliation when it is obviously painfully apparent someone is simply not going to be attractive in that situation, is why a natural sense of caution is there in the first place. It is undoubtedly psychologically healthy having the kind of ego that accepts rejection when it is within parameters that people agree afford obvious choice and uncertainty to both in question - that's great, but not having the awareness to know when it is either embarrassing, funny or pitiable to ask in the first place, or indeed having that awareness and seemingly little control over it, is I think a more fundamental issue. It is not mere cowardice that makes people afraid of rejection - there is a social function to it too, where people are actively discouraged and put in their place for not knowing where they are in the whole psycho-sexual hierarchy.