Author Topic: Letting a Friend Down Easy.  (Read 10878 times)

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Firecat

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2013, 01:16:57 PM »
Never, ever, ever get involved with somebody who tries to change your 'no' into a 'yes'. Even if all they're asking is "can I get you a glass of water".

At best, they are manipulative and don't respect you. At worst...yeah.

As PPs have said, Jenni needs to stop accepting anything (seriously, not so much as a breath mint) from Max, no matter how 'disappointed' he acts. In addition, she needs to tell him that she won't ever want a romantic relationship with him, ASAP.

I don't expect that they can be friends. I don't think Max wants to be friends. He's doing the classic NiceGuyTM routine of "putting kindness coins in until sex falls out". Stay faaaaaaaar away from people like that!

POD.

cwm

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2013, 01:18:56 PM »
Never, ever, ever get involved with somebody who tries to change your 'no' into a 'yes'. Even if all they're asking is "can I get you a glass of water".

At best, they are manipulative and don't respect you. At worst...yeah.

As PPs have said, Jenni needs to stop accepting anything (seriously, not so much as a breath mint) from Max, no matter how 'disappointed' he acts. In addition, she needs to tell him that she won't ever want a romantic relationship with him, ASAP.

I don't expect that they can be friends. I don't think Max wants to be friends. He's doing the classic NiceGuyTM routine of "putting kindness coins in until sex falls out". Stay faaaaaaaar away from people like that!

POD.

Put me in this camp too.

EllenS

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2013, 01:31:17 PM »
Here's the thing - she doesn't have to "let him down easy" - she has to break up with him.

In his mind, they are already dating.  Actions speak louder than words, right?  The concept of a "just friends" relationship, which includes every aspect of dating except physical intimacy, is an extremely new one. To people of my generation and older, (which this guy would be according to my math), dating is the entire relationship, not a small nuance based on whether you are attracted to/kissing someone. 

She says: "we're just friends"
She does: go out with him, spend time with him, accept invitations from him, allow him to pay her way, accept long car rides.

She is dating him, whether she wants to call it that or not.  He wants to introduce her to his family, because SHE IS HIS GIRLFRIEND. (I'm sure he's told them that, anyway, and he very likely believes it.)

There is no explanation or reasoning, or "easy" way to do this, other than:
No.
I am not seeing you anymore.
I'm sorry you got the wrong impressioion, but no.

If she keeps seeing him, he will continue to assume they are dating.

DavidH

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2013, 02:39:08 PM »
POD EllenS. 

Allowing this to progress to this point without ever clarifying anything seems like the beginning of a relationship.  The fact that he asked you to meet his family is the strongest possible hint that he regards her as much more than just his friend from the wine bar.

veronaz

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2013, 03:06:31 PM »
POD EllenS. 

Allowing this to progress to this point without ever clarifying anything seems like the beginning of a relationship.  The fact that he asked you to meet his family is the strongest possible hint that he regards her as much more than just his friend from the wine bar.

I also POD EllenS.

There is no "easy" way.  He "thinks" she is his girlfriend and you can be sure he has told his family all about the girl he is "dating", and that she will eventually come around (intimacy).

SoCalVal

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2013, 03:22:17 PM »
POD EllenS. 

Allowing this to progress to this point without ever clarifying anything seems like the beginning of a relationship.  The fact that he asked you to meet his family is the strongest possible hint that he regards her as much more than just his friend from the wine bar.

I also POD EllenS.

There is no "easy" way.  He "thinks" she is his girlfriend and you can be sure he has told his family all about the girl he is "dating", and that she will eventually come around (intimacy).

Ah, good points.  I was wondering why in the world he wants to introduce someone who's just a friend to his family.



BarensMom

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2013, 03:44:23 PM »
The lady in question should:

- tell Max once and for all that she is not interested in any sort of relationship
- flatly refuse his offers of assistance. 
- inform the owner/manager if he starts to behave in a harassing manner. 
- stop going to that wine bar if the management refuses to intervene.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2013, 09:14:51 PM »
I don't think Max is a bad guy. He's a guy who believes all the rom-com movies that show men impressing their way out of the friendzone and into love...
But Jennie has also been feeding this by accepting all the favours and gifts. It was wrong of her to do that.


I agree. I think it's bit harsh to describe Max (at this point anyway) as "manipulative" and "disrespectful", etc.

Here's the thing - she doesn't have to "let him down easy" - she has to break up with him.

In his mind, they are already dating.  Actions speak louder than words, right?  The concept of a "just friends" relationship, which includes every aspect of dating except physical intimacy, is an extremely new one. To people of my generation and older, (which this guy would be according to my math), dating is the entire relationship, not a small nuance based on whether you are attracted to/kissing someone. 

She says: "we're just friends"
She does: go out with him, spend time with him, accept invitations from him, allow him to pay her way, accept long car rides.

She is dating him, whether she wants to call it that or not.  He wants to introduce her to his family, because SHE IS HIS GIRLFRIEND. (I'm sure he's told them that, anyway, and he very likely believes it.)

There is no explanation or reasoning, or "easy" way to do this, other than:
No.
I am not seeing you anymore.
I'm sorry you got the wrong impressioion, but no.

If she keeps seeing him, he will continue to assume they are dating.


And POD to EllenS. It's very likely that a guy his age (50 and older?) probably sees this set-up as "dating".

Jenni needs to stop sending him mixed messages (accepting favours, etc), and nicely but firmly tell Max that she is NOT interested in him romantically.

blarg314

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2013, 09:32:29 PM »
Here's the thing - she doesn't have to "let him down easy" - she has to break up with him.


That puts it beautifully. The relationship may not be physical, but from his side they are a dating couple. He pays for her, they do date like activities together, he's inviting her to meet his family...

I have met people who were really that clueless, sometimes willfully. It's also possible that he knows what he's doing, and is deliberately trying to take advantage of her inability to be direct and is trying to coerce her into a relationship.

Raintree

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2013, 03:06:36 AM »
OP, please be sure to give us an update when your friend tells this guy she is not interested in dating him. I want to hear about what he does. Gets angry? Sad? Tells her the "Come on, I think what you are looking for is right in front of you" line?

veronaz

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2013, 06:00:09 AM »
She needs to take it further than just saying “I don’t want to date you”.  She needs to stop spending time with him……no rides, no accepting anything he pays for, and frankly no discussion.  I can easily see him saying “Well… fine, but what’s wrong with being friends?   I’ve been nice to you, but you’re being mean.  What did I do wrong?” 

etc., etc., etc.  ::)





Another Sarah

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2013, 06:01:35 AM »
I don't think Max is a bad guy. He's a guy who believes all the rom-com movies that show men impressing their way out of the friendzone and into love...
But Jennie has also been feeding this by accepting all the favours and gifts. It was wrong of her to do that.


I agree. I think it's bit harsh to describe Max (at this point anyway) as "manipulative" and "disrespectful", etc.


I have been in this position before (although with a guy my own age) and this behaviour flags a massive warning sign to me. In my case, telling a guy I didn't like him but attempting to stay friends with him resulted in a slow increase of manipulative behaviour, from offering little things (that I would expect as friendly favours and return, not whacking great favours or gifts), to being so disappointed when he offered me something I thought was too much so I felt like I had to take it so as not to upset him, to throwing a sulk when I didn't pay him enough attention, to insulting my other male friends, to self harming when he thought I wasn't being friendly enough.
It took me the better part of a year to get out from a hideous situation, all based from the fact that I didn't want to hurt a "nice guy", who took advantage of that and made me feel as though I was responsible for his emotional wellbeing.

I'm not saying Max is like that, but I'm saying it's a possibility, particularly in the short time frame you're talking about (they've known each other a couple of months and she had a boyfriend for some of that, so they can only have been "dating" for a few weeks tops).

I've had other friends that have wanted more and it's turned into nothing but normal friendship, but Jenni needs to get right away from any possibility of emotional manipulation and that starts by making her feelings perfectly clear and not accepting any more gifts.
She needs to get him alone and say something like
"Max, I'm sorry but I want to make it perfectly clear. I do really like you as a friend but that is as far as it will ever go. We don't have enough in common and we want different things out of life. I hope you understand that."

then she needs to make sure she puts herself on an even footing with him.
"I like driving, I like the time alone"
"I don't need anyone to drive me, thanks"
"Erm, I'm alright for water thanks grandad"

On a bar night out it's normal to buy a friend a drink, so she needs to make sure she reciprocates to stop feeling beholden to him, and if he pulls the pouty face, she can pull it right back.
"I'll pay for these drinks, you bought the last round. No argument"
"I'm good for drinks thanks. I'll get myself one in a bit"

Allyson

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2013, 01:22:28 PM »
I also don't think Jenni is 'using' Max by allowing herself to be guilted into accepting favours. I'd feel differently if she was the one calling him up and asking him for things, but this doesn't seem like that situation. It can be *very* hard to refuse someone's 'nice' offers, and a lot of the time the people making these offers are counting on that. The fact that they get so sad when refused says to me they're not doing it 'for' the other person, but for themself.

EllenS

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2013, 01:36:50 PM »
I don't think Max is a bad guy. He's a guy who believes all the rom-com movies that show men impressing their way out of the friendzone and into love...
But Jennie has also been feeding this by accepting all the favours and gifts. It was wrong of her to do that.


I agree. I think it's bit harsh to describe Max (at this point anyway) as "manipulative" and "disrespectful", etc.


I have been in this position before (although with a guy my own age) and this behaviour flags a massive warning sign to me. In my case, telling a guy I didn't like him but attempting to stay friends with him resulted in a slow increase of manipulative behaviour, from offering little things (that I would expect as friendly favours and return, not whacking great favours or gifts), to being so disappointed when he offered me something I thought was too much so I felt like I had to take it so as not to upset him, to throwing a sulk when I didn't pay him enough attention, to insulting my other male friends, to self harming when he thought I wasn't being friendly enough.
It took me the better part of a year to get out from a hideous situation, all based from the fact that I didn't want to hurt a "nice guy", who took advantage of that and made me feel as though I was responsible for his emotional wellbeing.

I'm not saying Max is like that, but I'm saying it's a possibility, particularly in the short time frame you're talking about (they've known each other a couple of months and she had a boyfriend for some of that, so they can only have been "dating" for a few weeks tops).

I've had other friends that have wanted more and it's turned into nothing but normal friendship, but Jenni needs to get right away from any possibility of emotional manipulation and that starts by making her feelings perfectly clear and not accepting any more gifts.
She needs to get him alone and say something like
"Max, I'm sorry but I want to make it perfectly clear. I do really like you as a friend but that is as far as it will ever go. We don't have enough in common and we want different things out of life. I hope you understand that."

then she needs to make sure she puts herself on an even footing with him.
"I like driving, I like the time alone"
"I don't need anyone to drive me, thanks"
"Erm, I'm alright for water thanks grandad"

On a bar night out it's normal to buy a friend a drink, so she needs to make sure she reciprocates to stop feeling beholden to him, and if he pulls the pouty face, she can pull it right back.
"I'll pay for these drinks, you bought the last round. No argument"
"I'm good for drinks thanks. I'll get myself one in a bit"

I get where you are coming from, but frankly I think this is way too much interaction. I think it is not unreasonable for Max to assume they are dating, since she is doing date behavior with him.  Looking for a way to have a private conversation about her "feelings"? Hanging out with him, buying him drinks, even continuing conversations with him is simply going to come across as a head-game. ("she says she doesn't want to date me - but then why is she acting like my girlfriend?")

She doesn't owe him an education on what "just friends" is supposed to mean, or any explanation/permission on why he should "allow" her drive herself, etc.

"No." is a complete sentence.  "No, but..." and "No, because...." are negotiations.

RavenousEdenFleur

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Re: Letting a Friend Down Easy.
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2013, 12:23:10 AM »
Update!

Jenni didn't have to bring anything up to Max, he asked if he could talk to her yesterday.He said he was feeling such sadness because he knows she is not ready for a relationship now but he is the best for her.He knows what she wants and needs and would treat her better and love her more than any other man she knows.

She was extremely taken aback by this and said kindly but firmly "no" was are just friends and she said she even felt like she was using him a bit since he clearly had feelings for her that she did not reciprocate.He said she wasn't using him and he argued with her about what they did and did not have in common.They disagree on many core values and while they have fun talking about wine.movies and travel that is as far as it goes with them. Jenni doesn't feel that spark with him, which she totally believes in... and I do too! I think sometimes a friendship can grow into love, but not this.

She said his constant stories of being impoverished and trying to bring her down wasn't making her feel very good. Especially since after complaining bout money he would try to be very extravagant with her.She said she felt like when he offered advice it wasn't as a friend, but it felt more like  a parent and he said "I'm not acting like a parent, if I was I would just criticize you" and she stated her parents don't criticize her.She said the age difference was too much when all was said and done and there would be no relationship romantically..he ended it  with "well let's think about it"I told Jenni to cut ties! She may see him at the wine bar, but her friends do own it so they will have her back if he bothers her.