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#156504 - 05/16/07 02:06 PM Friend/would-be lover...help?
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Hi, Guys --

I need advice...or at least some perspective.

I've had a close friend for about ten years—we've hung out together 2-3 times a week for a long time. I suppose we act like an old married couple-people mistake us for lovers. Early on, I knew that he wanted us to be more than friends, and that I didn't feel the same way, but neither of us could get up the nerve to have "the conversation." I just assumed that we'd settled into a pattern we'd both made peace with.

But recently, he came out and told me that he wanted our friendship to "move to another level" (code for sex), and I told him that I loved him as a friend, but that was as far as we could go. It's gotten ugly—he cried, stormed off, and he isn’t returning calls, and I understand that, but I'm going around in circles:

Have I been using him all this time, because I knew all along how he felt and didn't say anything?

In the last year, I’ve opened up to him more than I ever did, including my experience as a survivor, and we've gotten closer in many ways. Is he telling me that our friendship has been a waste of time if I don't end up in bed with him?

How do you comfort a friend who has a problem, when you're the problem? How can I be giving without giving in to a sexual experience I don't want?

Am I just reacting to my own issues and getting paranoid?

I feel guilty and angry at the same time.

David


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#156517 - 05/16/07 03:25 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
cbfull Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 386
Loc: Ohio
David,

That is a very interesting dilemma. I find it very sweet and encouraging to hear how you feel pain from this outcome as well. "Hetero" guys tend to be clueless about this sort of thing and often just abandon the situation, as well as the friend.

The first thing that comes to mind is the idea of whether or not he can still be your friend now that he has revealed his deeper desire. This is something to consider because if he says he cannot continue the friendship, his desires may be misguided or based on a perception of you that is somewhat unrealistic. Given that you have known each other so many years, this is not likely to be the case, but it's worth considering.

I try refrain from suggesting what anyone "should do", but I will tell you that if it were me, I would make an extra effort to maintain the friendship exactly as it was before his announcement. This sends a very genuine and sincere message to your friend who might be regretting telling you at all. It should help him to get over it with minimal drama.

Hope this helps.

Craig

_________________________
Craig

Guilt and shame have never done any of us any good at all.

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#156601 - 05/17/07 06:32 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: cbfull]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Thanks for the suggestion, Craig --

Still waiting to see when he and I can get back in touch. I'd like things to be more or less the way they were, with better honesty and communication.

David


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#156606 - 05/17/07 08:24 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
David,

honestly if you have such a chemistry with him - and you like him a lot but just don't want sex -

maybe the code word isn't just 'sex' - if people are mistaking you for lovers - than a. your way to emotionally connected to each other to be just friends emotionally. you know what i mean?

he should be that way with his lover - as should you?

and why don't you have a lover and he as well?

10 years 2 to 3 times a week that is a lovers' pattern.

the next level he might be suggesting - (sex is kind of extreme)

just some kind of disccussion of what you think of each other -
your feelings - or some kind of idea of just 'where are we going with this?' 10 years is a long time -

and perhaps it's time to bleep or get off the pot -?

in another light -

you say you don't want it - but could you be willing to open up to his maybe just 'holding your hand' while you go for a walk.

he sounds your best friend - a really valuable person - in your life -

why throw the baby out with the bath water? communicate -

and maybe find a girlfriend - if you feel that strongly about it -

maybe a revisting of boundaries or a look at your pattern together and really think - What do you want here? where are you going with this -



Edited by markgreyblue (05/17/07 08:26 AM)
_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156608 - 05/17/07 08:27 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
and look at the title of this post

not "friend/ wants to be lover" you wrote

friend/would be lover -

that's maybe saying you kind of are starting to think about.?

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156609 - 05/17/07 08:28 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
he sounds a great match - i would love to have such a constant friend. who i get on with so well.

good luck with all this! you're lucky in my view to have someone

who thinks so much of you \:\) - be good

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156611 - 05/17/07 08:38 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
sorry i got kind of involved here -
i am still figuring life out too.

all i got to say is you've got to do what is right for you

both of you are going to have to negotiate this relationship

so that both of you are happy -

as you sort of said above

you got to do what's right for both - sorry - good luck






Edited by markgreyblue (05/17/07 09:58 AM)
_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156659 - 05/17/07 12:11 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Hey, Mark --

Thanks for your thoughts...

Quote:
maybe the code word isn't just 'sex' - if people are mistaking you for lovers - than a. your way to emotionally connected to each other to be just friends emotionally. you know what i mean?


I think so. We sort of got used to being "fixtures" in each others' lives. Like a place-holder where a lover would be. I don't know why the chemistry for being lovers isn't there for me, except that even as friends, I find myself holding him back--defending my space and free time. It can be pretty triggering.

Quote:
you say you don't want it - but could you be willing to open up to his maybe just 'holding your hand' while you go for a walk.


I guess I've always been afraid that I'd be creating more expectations and setting him up to get hurt if I let us blur the line between friends and lovers. I've always been the one maintaining the boundaries.

Quote:
and maybe find a girlfriend - if you feel that strongly about it


I don't think that'll be happening anytime soon! \:\)

Quote:
maybe a revisting of boundaries or a look at your pattern together and really think - What do you want here? where are you going with this


I hope that's what we've started. I really hope we can keep the friendship we have, but be free to find what we need in our lives.

David


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#156681 - 05/17/07 01:05 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
so no girlfriend means you are gay?

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156682 - 05/17/07 01:09 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Oh, yeah. Didn't mean to be confusing about that.


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#156683 - 05/17/07 01:13 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
well, you were very misguiding about that - and I think purposefully so

you have come off - as incredbily deceitful - and to me it shows this relationship

was only about you getting what YOU needed. I think this friend - was never your friend. He ought to know that - and probably will figure it out shortly -

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156699 - 05/17/07 02:13 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
That hurts, Mark. But I have been worried about the same things.

I don't think I ever led him on or lied, but I did avoid the issue. I never wanted to, or tried to, block him from finding a real partner--I always encouraged him to. But we should have talked about where we were a long time ago. It's only now that I'm learning how to let people know how I really feel, and it's really hard for me.

I've been open about my sexuality here--never occured to me that someone would think I was straight because I have a friend I love, but am not attracted to.


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#156700 - 05/17/07 02:15 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Again, You were not clear about that at all. I think we all have friends gay or straight we love - and your comments are very manipulative.

So - I think again - this is characteristic of your style.

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156701 - 05/17/07 02:15 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
You really need to be more careful here.

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156704 - 05/17/07 02:17 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
if you look at cfbull's response - he was also mistaken - but you made no mention of it.

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#156800 - 05/18/07 05:27 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: markgreyblue]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi Mark, I am sorry that you were hurt. I just wanted you to know that both you and cfbull gave some good advice. I am straight,(95% anyway, was attracted to one gay guy who I had a affair with). The gay guy was doing subtle things that were telling me that he was interested in me. Problem was it was freaking me out. I wrote him a letter talking about my rape and homophobic feelings, he backed off from making the advances on me and just became my friend. About six months later I developed sexual feeling towards him. Maybe if I had gotten a divorce before acting on the feeling things would have ended up better.

To MemoryVault, I think I would give him a week to sort out his feelings, and then invite him over and have a heart to heart conversation. Who knows, maybe he has been doing little things that have been shutting your sexual feelings down, and if he backs off for a while it will let your sexual feeling to develop.

Take care,
Clifford
PS: if you want to read more about that affair, go to the link below, the gay affair is about two thirds of the way down the page.



Edited by lostcowboy (05/18/07 05:52 AM)
_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#156815 - 05/18/07 10:37 AM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: lostcowboy]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Thanks for sharing this, Clifford. The links in "Pretty much my life" are just pointing to the MS homepage. Is there any other way to get to them?

I'll try to reach out to my friend this weekend, at least to open the door to talking if he wants to.

Just feeling really confused and down.


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#156831 - 05/18/07 12:21 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi MemoryVault, I just caught and fixed the link problem in the signature last night. Thanks for the heads up on the rest of the links it will take a while to fix them. Here is the one about the gay affair. How Ug the caveman got confused by a gay guy! You should be able to find the rest by searching on my name. That's what I will have to do to fix all those links. Edit: the links should be working now.

Take care,
Clifford



Edited by lostcowboy (05/20/07 12:15 AM)
_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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#157065 - 05/19/07 09:04 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: MemoryVault]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
David,

It seems to me that either of you - not just you - could have initiated the conversation that would have brought out the differences in what you wanted. In any case, couldn't he have detected some hints just in body language and so on? I don't think you should beat yourself up over this.

But at the same time it sounds like he's a good friend who probably feels embarrassed and disappointed. I guess all you can do is keep expressing your hopes that your friendship will continue, but the reality may be that he is intensely attracted to you and can't face continuing as "just friends" when he feels that way.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#157163 - 05/20/07 03:15 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: roadrunner]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
David,

It seems to me you delineated the boundaries quite well when the subject matter was raised. Could or should you have done so sooner? One can never know the answer to that question for sure, but I'd say you did what was needed at the time it was needed. He could just as easily have brought up his feelings long ago as now, so I don't personally believe you were manipulative in any wan any more than he was.

Relationship stuff is very difficult to negotiate under the best of circumstances and for those of us who were abused it compounds exponentially. I'd say rest easy and continue to try reaching out to him in friendship on occasion, after giving him some breathing room, if you'd like to maintain what you once had with him. He'll let you know soon enough if your attentions are unwanted.

I wish you well.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#157197 - 05/20/07 06:00 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: WalkingSouth]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Thanks, guys --

We had a long talk yesterday. It's been painful, but we're starting to work through it. I don't know where we'll end up, but it feels important to be honest with each other.

David

David


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#157202 - 05/20/07 06:18 PM Re: Friend/would-be lover...help? [Re: WalkingSouth]
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
I've read these posts, and since I wasn't there I can't say that anyone was intentionally manipulative or not. It doesn't seem so to me, and I assume that most of the guys posting in the gay survivors section are gay (but I understand not all).

Anyway, I've been on the other end of this scenario. I have a college friend that I've had something of a crush on in one way or another for 20 years. I've mentioned it two or three times in that time (we live in different states) and he hasn't been interested. It got really confusing for me when about 3 years ago, after I had broken up with my ex/perp, he kissed me... I was still numb from the ex, and it took a long time to sink in. So a few months later, when I was visiting his city (which I do often, and sometimes stay on his couch) I laid the cards on the table, stated my interest, and asked him to please clarify his kiss. He sort of brushed it off, copped out by saying sometimes he kissed his friends (right, he'd never done that to me before in 20 years, and aside from women friends I'd never seen him do it to someone else either). So, I felt a little awkward for a bit, but have also found other friends couches for most of my visits. We still email and have dinner when I'm in his town but it was vulnerable-making for me. All this is a long way of saying that I understand what your friend may be feeling from my own experience, and I understand why he may be choosing to distance himself just now. He may feel rejected and not want to be around you.


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