Friend trying to force a close connection that isn't there

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886
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07 Sep 2019, 2:08 am

I've had a friend I met out playing pokemon go that I've known the past 2 years, who recently decided to go all in on being friends. Which, normally isn't bad, I enjoy making friends out in the world.. I'm 29, she's 43. But short of pokemon go and a few things in our lives, we don't have a great deal in common. Seeing her once every other week out there was plenty enough for me.

One day she told me her and her husband were divorced and it wouldn't be weird for us to talk, and ever since then she's just been absolutely blowing my phone up. The boundaries are there as far as not dating, but sometimes I'm unsure she cares about the boundaries.. Every time she sees I'm posting on a group chat she texts me privately or tries to show up, and if I'm not replying to the texts, it's almost daily that I get some sort of affirmation-seeking text message from her about the friendship. "Sorry I blow you up" "You know I like you for more than just this game" etc.. it's daily. I've never had a friend that I had question the friendship, let alone on a daily basis. She's always finding a way to run into me, inviting herself to functions I'm doing outside of the game, it's just gotten so bad I want to quit.

How do you set appropriate boundaries with someone like this? I never had a problem getting along with her until she decided she wanted to just smother me with friendship. Sometimes I feel as if i'm some sort of bad person for handling it like I am. I'm just not the type of person who wants to sit by my phone and text constantly (perhaps different if i'm dating said person) about random crap. I also don't personally feel I should be expected to answer "Are we still friends?" in so many different ways. The answer is yes, we are friends, and I'd like to continue being friends but I don't wish to be harassed on a daily basis - how do I communicate that effectively, responsibly and maturely?


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smudge
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07 Sep 2019, 5:17 am

She wants way more than friendship. Her mentioning that her and her husband are divorced is another way of saying she's single and available to you.

"You know I like you for more than just this game" means she LIKES you likes you. As in fancies you.

I'm not sure how to handle this. She wants to date you.



smudge
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07 Sep 2019, 5:42 am

I think it's kind of sweet that you think she just wants to be friends. :lol: Bless you!



886
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07 Sep 2019, 12:43 pm

smudge wrote:
I think it's kind of sweet that you think she just wants to be friends. :lol: Bless you!


:lol: I suppose it's wishful thinking on my part. When a woman tells me she's unavailable, I respect those boundaries.. I guess I just naturally assumed she would return me the same respect I give women in my life :?


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Mona Pereth
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09 Sep 2019, 10:40 am

smudge wrote:
"You know I like you for more than just this game" means she LIKES you likes you. As in fancies you.

I'm not sure how to handle this. She wants to date you.

That sounds like a strong possibility. But, based on what has been said so far, it seems to me that it's also possible (though less likely) that she's just lonely, under a lot of stress, and needs someone to talk to in the wake of her recent divorce.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 09 Sep 2019, 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mona Pereth
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09 Sep 2019, 11:36 am

886 wrote:
How do you set appropriate boundaries with someone like this? I never had a problem getting along with her until she decided she wanted to just smother me with friendship. Sometimes I feel as if i'm some sort of bad person for handling it like I am. I'm just not the type of person who wants to sit by my phone and text constantly (perhaps different if i'm dating said person) about random crap. I also don't personally feel I should be expected to answer "Are we still friends?" in so many different ways. The answer is yes, we are friends, and I'd like to continue being friends but I don't wish to be harassed on a daily basis - how do I communicate that effectively, responsibly and maturely?

Given her repeated questions about whether you're still friends, perhaps it might be a good idea to ask her if she's in love with you.

IF the answer is yes, then tell her you're not in love with her although still willing to be friends. Then ask her what she thinks ought to be done about this situation. You might then suggest that, although you still want to be her friend in the long run, it might be best for the two of you to take a temporary break from contacting each other for however long it would likely take for her to get over her romantic feelings for you, and then ask her how long that would likely be. I would NOT suggest that you unilaterally cut off contact with her, because that would be cruel, although it seems to be the faddish thing to do these days. Instead, I think it's much more humane and all-around better to negotiate with her on how best to deal with the problem.

If she says she's NOT in love with you, then you might inform her that you're an introvert (if indeed that's true), then perhaps refer her to the famous article Caring for Your Introvert by Jonathan Rauch (Atlantic, March 2003) (if indeed that article accurately describes you).

In any case you should make a specific request, e.g. that she not contact you more than once per day (or whatever limit you would be comfortable with).

Try not to state things in an accusatory way (e.g. "you are harassing me"), but rather in terms of how you are negatively impacted (e.g. too many and too frequent conversations with any one person, other than a life partner, are a distraction from getting work done).


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- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


kjeezy0127
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12 Sep 2019, 6:01 pm

886 wrote:

How do you set appropriate boundaries with someone like this? I never had a problem getting along with her until she decided she wanted to just smother me with friendship. Sometimes I feel as if i'm some sort of bad person for handling it like I am. I'm just not the type of person who wants to sit by my phone and text constantly (perhaps different if i'm dating said person) about random crap. I also don't personally feel I should be expected to answer "Are we still friends?" in so many different ways. The answer is yes, we are friends, and I'd like to continue being friends but I don't wish to be harassed on a daily basis - how do I communicate that effectively, responsibly and maturely?


To be honest, she seems like she has a crush on you. My advice would be to see if she likes you as more than a friend. If she does, then you can just tell her that you really like her as a friend but are just not interested in dating. As for setting boundaries, just say that you aren't huge on texting each other constantly all the time. Tell her that while you still want her in your life but that you have your own life going on and don't want to always text her all the time. Like another post said, if you are introvert you can try that strategy. What you can do is try talking on the phone during the day when you both are free.



cyberdad
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15 Sep 2019, 2:39 am

886 wrote:
One day she told me her and her husband were divorced and it wouldn't be weird for us to talk, and ever since then she's just been absolutely blowing my phone up. The boundaries are there as far as not dating, but sometimes I'm unsure she cares about the boundaries.. Every time she sees I'm posting on a group chat she texts me privately or tries to show up, and if I'm not replying to the texts, it's almost daily that I get some sort of affirmation-seeking text message from her about the friendship.


Dude! she was your friend before her divorce. If an NT woman who has been married suddenly becomes divorced she isn't necessarily looking for a partner or even sex. She may be looking for affirmation she is normal or just somebody to support her during this time. You may be shocked to learn that she just wants to talk/interact with you as a friend.

I think it's healthy to have friendships with the opposite sex. If you are worried that she is looking for a "rebound" then why is it necessary to change things? just maintain the same boundaries you exercised when she was married. Don't be a dick about it, just give her some normalcy (I think that's partly what she's craving given one half of her life just left her). NT women pick up cues so long as you make it clear you are not going to available at her beck and call she will understand.



WalkerTR
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21 Sep 2019, 8:43 pm

If I were you I would quit the pokemon game esp. If you've set the boundaries and they are being ignored.
Does she know your home address?

You are being conditioned by all of these text messages. Please read about'love bombing' and red flags of a narcissist.
She could manipulate you into having sex which would make things much worse.(pregnancy)

I think by the tone of your post you have a gf already?

You don't want to be friends with someone who doesn't listen to what you want,it seems cute that she is paying you all of this attention but its not love its obsession. Obsession turns to hatred very quickly,
Does she keep asking what you are doing each day?

The correct course of action would be to go no contact. Change cell phone number without telling her what you are doing.
Because you are nice it is unlikely you would do no contact until she has done something really bad like:

Get you into a relationship and start abusing you.

There's a test you can do for sociopathy which is to ask how she would feel if she saw an accident on the road and someone's face was torn up. If she says she would find it fascinating or some other weird reaction that's a bad sign



Last edited by WalkerTR on 21 Sep 2019, 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

irumi22
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21 Sep 2019, 8:59 pm

How do I deal with my math difficulties?



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22 Sep 2019, 10:30 pm

^ Don't post off-topic replies in any forum, especially the Haven, trying to make the thread about your problem. This forum is for the benefit of the member seeking personal support, by making a thread and having people respond supportively to THEM. That's what the Haven is for.

Read the Haven rules guidance thread at the top of the thread list. Please don't intrude like that again in the Haven. Also please read the general Wrong Planet rules before you restart your posting on Wrong Planet.



Broekenkakker
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23 Sep 2019, 10:03 pm

I agree with what Mona Pereth and cyberdad have said. It seems to me that she's having a bad time with her divorce and all, and perhaps she doesn't really have any other friends (or friends with whom she feels as comfortable/free as with you) and she just needs your support and company as to get her mind off things.

Try talking to he about it, gently, checking each other's meanings constantly, and try to reach an agreement. I believe that's always possible if the person involved is a friend in the real sense of the word.



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09 Oct 2019, 9:11 pm

Firstly I admit I haven’t read all of the posts so forgive me if I am repeating something already said.

I am speaking as an NT lady who has had an on and off close friendship with an aspie man for the past 4yrs or more. If you look at my previous posts you will see there have been many times I have come on here for advice because I have been confused or upset by his actions or lack of actions.

People often thought I was wanting more from him than friendship, I wasn’t , we are both married. However. . . I think this issue is the basis of problems between neuro diverse folk and neurotic typical people. You don’t react to us in the way we expect. This is not a criticism it is just a fact. Because there are more NT people you get called weird etc, but you are just different.

It took me a long time to understand my friend. To not prodding him for reaction when I thought he was ignoring me, or treating me badly, or not basically reacting the way I expected. . . . .. . .

Maybe this is what is happening with your friend?? Have you asked her if she wants a relationship? If she is certain she doesn’t, just explain she needs to learn your way of communication, and your need for space and time with other people and activities.

I used to invite my friend along to all my social events. I thought he would appreciate it, but then I would get upset when he didn’t invite me to things he was doing. . . .. . . . Now I get it. We have weeks at a time without communicating but I’m always there if he needs me, or wants to chat. Otherwise I get on with my own life and other friendships and activities. I am glad to have him in my life. . . . .. . He is wonderful and unique. I hope he is glad to have my friendship. . . . . .but as an aspie he’s a little less forthcoming in his feelings.. . . :D 8)



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Yesterday, 2:10 pm

It sounds like it might be best for you to cut ties with her because
1. She is getting a divorce from her husband and wants to date too soon and all she is going to do is keep on trying to hook up with you for the wrong reasons and most likely use you because she is lonely.
2. There is a huge age difference between the two of you


You are not responsible for her happiness or lonelieness and it sounds like you have said no and she crossed over that boundary more than once.

Letting her down
1. Invite her out to meet you somewhere or talk on the phone "I am sorry I don't like where this is going and you have made me feel uncomfortable more than once. I have also expressed to you that I don't have romantic feelings in addition to feeling like there is a huge age difference.
2. Tell her not to contact you anymore and if she does bit listen block her and if it continues you can get a temporary protective order.