Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

This is killing me.

  1. Feb 17, 2010 #1
    Hello, I am in desperate need of advice. I have a friendship in which I believe I am being taken advantage of. Last fall I met a girl through a class we shared together. I thought she was very nice, and I helped her with math every week. Of course at the time she had a boyfriend, so I wasn't thinking about this friendship in a relationship kind of way. However, more and more I grew closer to her and when she finally broke up with her boyfriend I thought maybe she would be open to something with me. I talked to her every day during this period trying to console her, not being explicit in my intentions, but not covert either. She didn't react to this, so I thought that maybe she was just not over the past relationship. However, one day she invited me to lunch with her friends, and all they discussed is who she thought was cute, or wanted to be in a relationship with. Revealing that she was quite over the effects of the breakup, she mentioned a guy who she had hooked up with a few days before. After this, I was a little bit shocked that I was invited to her lunch just to be presented with something a little hurtful. Now I felt like I was being a nice guy. I immediately de-friended her on my Facebook account, as a sign of anger, but quickly regretted it and refriended her. This is my problem; I feel like I am being taken advantage of here as a nice guy, and that her inviting me to lunch only to discuss her next boyfriend was intentionally hurtful to me; however she is one of the few friends I have at college, and I have had some very good times with her. I feel like ending this friendship would be horrifically painful, and I would end up severely depressed. However, I am still very displeased with how this is going, I don't want to be taken advantage of, and this relationship is currently hurting me emotionally. Does somebody have any idea of what to do? Right now, my solution is keeping my conversations with her short and ignoring invitations to do other things with her. Please someone help, this is hurting me terribly right now.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Perhaps you should make your feelings known. From what you say, I don't think it's 100% sure that she knows you "like" her...

    Sometimes girls will be subtle and expect guys to understand them, but sometimes guys can be subtle too. It's not always obvious to the other person like it is to you.
  4. Feb 17, 2010 #3
    I would be fine even without a relationship, however, I want the friendship to be mutual. Considering the reverse situation, if I invited her to talk about who I wanted to hook up with, I doubt she would be pleased. I want at least respect.
  5. Feb 17, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe she considers you as one of her "buddies". Someone she can talk about anything with. It doesn't seem to me that just because you're a guy, it would automatically make it rude to talk about other guys when you're around (if she doesn't know that you like her of course).

    In any case, very rarely do people do things just to hurt someone else (apart from psychopaths, or sociopaths). I doubt she is doing this just to hurt you. She probably just doesn't know that you're hurt by it.
  6. Feb 17, 2010 #5
    Yeah, I think that might be it. I may just be over reacting, however this is not the first time I have really been taken advantage of.
  7. Feb 17, 2010 #6
    Probably she organized this lunch because she understands your feelings, does not share them, and is too awkward to handle the situation otherwise. She tried to make it look casual, as she probably thought it would be less painful for you. No matter how she would have told you, it would have been painful, so she did the best she could.

    You need to focus on the fact that, right now, she is a friend of yours, and friends are extremely valuable. Given what you have described, it is quite unclear that she would be taking advantage of you. If you are going to help somebody with their maths or something else, you should do it because you want to do it, not because you expect them to give something in return. If she is your friend, eventually there will be a situation where she will help you as well, but you cannot expect to decide when. It can only be your estimation as to whether you will have the mental strength to consider her only a friend and not more. If you do not have this strength, you might as well explain her what happened. If you think you have this strength, you must be careful to respect her and not to judge her behavior according to your own feelings and understanding of the situation, as you did with the lunch story.

    Can you refocus your free time on something else, at least temporarily ? Do you have personal recreative hobbies, some art or some sport, you could spend more time to evacuate your emotions and energy ? This situation is also an opportunity for you to grow in the understanding of your inner emotional workings. For instance, they say musicians improve their interpretation and/or composition after they underwent a major heartbreak.
  8. Feb 17, 2010 #7
    I would go with Matterwave's last post. Most often when a male and female are friends it is because one or both are attracted to the other. Most often it is only one, or at least that only one has significant attraction for the other. It is quite possible that you are in this situation where you are attracted to her and she does not think of you that way. Its kind of hard to tell just reading about it online but considering that she took you out to hangout with the girls and talked about other guys I'd imagine this is the case. Its hard to say though. I have had female friends who were apparently interested in me but I never knew because they were always talking about other guys. Women are just hard to read sometimes, even more so when it involves yourself and you have feelings for her.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  9. Feb 17, 2010 #8
    I considered that too. It seems like a bit more than most people would do though. In my experience people who realize a friend is interested in them are more likely to distance themselves from that person than to invite them to spend time with them.
  10. Feb 17, 2010 #9
    yeah, I'm ok with it, I mean, I don't have a strong attraction for her anymore, but then again, I'm not trying to become one of her pals or anything. I think this is enough, I'm quite OK with it now that I see it from another perspective. And no, I wasn't helping her with math because I liked her, she asked me to help her.

    I think the final thing is: I am quite ok with it, never had extremely strong feelings in the relationship sense, but I am very conscious of being taken advantage of. I mean, these conversations about her hookups are really boring to me, and I don't really give a. So I expect her to at least let me do what I want and not participate in this stuff.
  11. Feb 17, 2010 #10
    I don't know how much she is taking advantage of you if you aren't up front with her. Don't assume she knows what you are feeling. If you don't tell her then don't later accuse her of taking advantage of you.

    She likes guys. How is that disrespectful to you? Have you ever told her that you want her? Stop trying to figure out what she is thinking and tell her exactly what you are thinking.
  12. Feb 17, 2010 #11
    no no no, ok, look at my last post. I can very easily get over my feelings. BUT, my time is valuable. Here is an example of what I mean, if someone wanted to talk to me for 30 minutes about stamps or something else really boring, I'd leave. I want my time to be valuable to her too, and that means not boring me or at least engaging me. I mean, do you really think I give a about this stuff? In that way, it is disrespectful, of my time.
  13. Feb 17, 2010 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Friends are friends because they spend time with each other. You can't expect to be friends with someone and say "don't engage me in stuff I feel bored about, only engage me in stuff I'm personally interested in"...especially if they don't know what bores you and what interests you.
  14. Feb 17, 2010 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    That would appear to be the case. She sees 'just a friend' whereas he would like a closer more intimate relationship. This is an asymmetric relationship, and it will be somewhat awkward. In this case, she is not necessarily taking advantage of one, as much as one is setting up oneself for unfulfilled expectation.

    Distance can be a self-defense mechanism - a way to avoid or prevent disappointment, heartache, or heartbreak.

    One could simply express one's feelings and perhaps mention the desire for a platonic relationship, and let the chips fall wherever they may.

    I've been in a similar situation as TSA, where women were apparently interested, but the interest was never disclosed.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  15. Feb 17, 2010 #14
    Ok, I mean, I do like to help people, but only if it is meaningful stuff. If she was asking about something more serious than a hookup (especially when the person themselves says it wasn't serious), I probably wouldn't mind. But come on, no guy could convince me that they are truly interested in hearing about this kind of stuff. Same thing for girls, I doubt any of you really cares what one of your guy friends did with a girl at a bar last night. I think that is the problem here, and for the most part, it has been resolved.
    And thank you to everyone who responded to this, this advice helped a lot!
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  16. Feb 17, 2010 #15
    Her time is valuable to her as well. I doubt all the things that you consider worthwhile are important to her personally, just as many of her thoughts aren't important to you. Sometimes being a friend means reciprocating. The things your friends like to say and do should have value to you if you enjoy their friendship.

    I don't believe your explanation for not wanting to hear what she has to say. You say her interest in men is of no interest to you, but it also seems clear that you want her to be interested in you in the same way she describes of other men. It smells more like jealousy, and the non-reciprocity you express in your explanation is self-sabotage. It appears that you strongly desire her interest for yourself, but you don't want to express your interest in her.

    I haven't read anything in your explanation that makes her seem disrespectful at all. However, you seem very demanding of her without even being explicit with your intentions. So... be explicit, or stop being demanding.
  17. Feb 17, 2010 #16
    This is what I think. I think body language is obvious, and that its possible that she invited you to that lunch to break it to you easy. I think she does value the friendship, and that she didn't want to hurt you by either ignoring your intentions until you brought it up, or her just coming out with it. I don't mean to be harsh, and I've been in your situation before, I just think that if she had the same connection with you as you have with her, then things wouldn't be going this way. But hey, communication is the key to everything. Every aspect of life is communication based. So it depends if you are ready to talk to her about it. You may not want to, and thats fine, but the way I see it, she hasn't really done much to deserve being deleted off facebook and so forth. Huckleberry sums it up with be explicit or stop being demanding.
  18. Feb 17, 2010 #17
    Ok, thread can die. I understand about being explicit. I think what angered me in the first place was that I felt that I was being taken for a nice guy, and that was the reason I deleted her as a Facebook friend, cause I wanted to pretend that the friendship didn't mean much to me. Yes, I know it was immature, I was thinking that it would take the edge off my rejection if there was some way I could reject her. Other than that, it's not like I have a HUGE crush on her or anything, so I think I will take the route of dropping that aspect of the friendship.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  19. Feb 17, 2010 #18
    Time to move on before the other annihilate you :).
  20. Feb 18, 2010 #19


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Huckleberry makes a very good point.

    You've mentioned a couple of times that no guy could possibly enjoy hearing about which guy this girl you know made out with. Well, call me gay, but I don't mind it.
    I do hear this kind of stuff quite often with girl friends that I have no physical attraction to and it doesn't bother me one bit. However, if my physical attraction for her was significant, this would be a completely different story.

    Since you met her in class and have been tutoring her, how often would you talk about something non-study related? Were these conversations engaging for the both of you? Because you know, it's not against the rules to sway the tide of the topic when you were with her and her friends :tongue:

    It's funny what some people might do and think in a non-mutual relationship. I had this girl that I was friends with due to class convenience. We would always muck around with each other in such awkward ways for fun, such as paying each other out, distracting each other with paper projectiles during class etc.
    Anyway, one night at a party after I went to hug her goodbye, she instead went in for a kiss. I pulled away and said "sorry I don't like you like that" and then she replied with "then what was all that in class about?".
  21. Feb 19, 2010 #20
    Well young mister Enjoicube seems to have had the benefit of lots of helpful stuff and has rapidly got over his disappointment.

    For what it's worth, friendship between healthy young men and women is bloody near impossible. One or the other is sure to want the other one. It's nature. We can't stop it so if you like the girl just arrange a sweet moment and let her know. No pressure applied, just here I am, body, mind and perhaps heart at the ready... All she can say is "No" and that's such a relief sometimes.

    A Chinese woman writer wrote that the most direct way to a woman's heart is through her vagina. This is absolutely true. You can be real friends after you've had sex, not before.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook