Just need to vent

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Just need to vent
2
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 12:14pm
I have a weird situation in my life right now. I am 29 years old, and I have been hanging out with this guy for several months now. We get along fabulously and we have a great time together. He has no interest in a romantic relationship- with me or anybody else. He is 43 and has been divorced for several years and is happily single. I am fine with that, and I frankly wouldn't want to risk what we have for a roll in the hay. I have only been in one relationship in my life, which was horribly abusive, mentally and sexually. That relationship lasted for 6 years, and I came out of it with a complete distrust of men and a total lack of self esteem. It took me 3 years to even consider the notion of trusting a man again. My problem is that my friends and family are pushing for me to move forward with this guy. They know some of the stuff about my abusive relationship, but not very much, and none of the really bad stuff (they gave me a hard time for staying with the stuff they did know- how could I tell them how bad it really was?). Anyway, they don't understand why I am willing to be in this platonic relationship. I need this friendship right now- I need to be able to trust men. I have never had a normal sexual relationship- only the sexual abuse (he raped me and pimped me out to his friends for drugs), and I am still working through that stuff in my head. A physical relationship is the last thing on my mind right now, but my friends and family can't understand that because they don't know about all of that sexual abuse. My mom is the worst. She practically tells me to throw myself at him. She tries to get me to bring him to holidays and things like that, but I am not willing to put him through that. She says she believes me when I tell her we are just friends, but how come she never invited any of my girlfriends over? I understand that she is excited that I have a man in my life who treats me well, but she is really driving me crazy. This friendship has allowed me to trust men again, and I do find myself looking at other men now. I am keeping my options open, but I am not willing to risk a great friendship when he is clearly not interested in moving further. I am secure enough to not take it personally and throw myself at him. It's exactly like what I assume a healthy dating relationship would be, except without the physical aspect. There's good conversation, mutual respect, fun times, movies, concerts, dinners, etc. Why do people think that I can't be happy with that? We are both very introverted, and we have helped each other to come out of our shells and get out more. I am very happy with the way things are, and I am getting tired of defending the relationship. Is there anything I can do to get them off my back? Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!!!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 12:57pm
Sounds like you have a good friend. I think it is perfectly fine to have male friends. My advice is to repeatedly tell your friends and family that he is a good friend and that's all. They will eventually get bored of this broken record approach. Also, do not tell them what you guys do, it will only give your family and friends more incentives. This friendship is for you, it is not for them, don't talk to them about it and enjoy it.

One day you will be ready for a more traditional boyfriend, or he might become ready for a more tradtional girlfriend. Your friendship can still last after this happens, but you might not be able to spend as much time with eachother.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 5:19pm
Hi! Thanks for your help. My mom is the worst, because she tells all of the other relatives that he is my boyfriend. My friends aren't as bad. They believe me when I tell them we are just friends, but they keep on my case because they think that I am settling or selling myself short- they tell me that someday I am going to want more than that. I agree with that, but I am keeping my options open. To me, I would only be selling myself short if I didn't keep my options open since he has been completely honest in telling me that he is happily single and plans on staying that way. Part of me wants to tell them the whole story about my previous relationship so that maybe they will see why I am not looking for more than a friendship right now, but that could open up a whole new set of problems. This friendship has helped me to get to the point where I think I am ready to date- if the right person comes along, I would probably go for it. I guess I am stirring it up by telling them what we do- I didn't think about that because we do the same types of things that I do with my girlfriends (movies, dinner, concerts) so it wasn't a big deal. I guess for people like my mom, they don't need a whole lot of ammunition to work with. She's looking for something that isn't there, and any little thing is going to be a big deal to her. I'm just glad that my brother has a son- that got her off my case with having grandkids. I guess I should just count my blessings!!

Thanks, Lane