When a romantic rival infiltrates your friends group

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
When a romantic rival infiltrates your friends group
1
Sat, 05-31-2014 - 7:20pm

I have a group of online artist friends connected on several social networks scattered throughout the world. A certain subgroup in particular is a several adolescent humoured guys into comics is the group with which I developed close ties and a passion for drawing. One of their friends lives a day away and sells comic/art books. I met him at a festival and we connected. Unfortunately he seemed always to be in a relationship and distant yet flirty whenever I managed to travel back to his city from time to time.

It seems there was also a girl, puts on "he vamp" persona with glee (if I can say that-she's the type constantly shooting sexy selfies) who is obssessed wih the comic seller. He broke up with one girl, she flew to his city a week later (he ignored her), then saw he like europe and flew to Paris/Berlin with selfies and all.  A competitor, so I began lurking on her twitter and soon not only was she doing the same, but she was stalking me every other network I had. I would post I'm visiting the comic sellers city on a blog and she'd go bonkers on her twitter. After three visits and a constant girlfriends, frankly I'm very hurt, upset and skeptical of the comics seller ready to back off. Yet this girl who is totally stalking me now, doesnt know that. It doesnt help that the seller, also on my twitter, STILL flirts with me all the time. Now the vamp has begun flirting with my male friends online or my online hero celebrities (yeah they dont pay attention but still) etc. My friends reaction are to think she's cool, even aware she's a rival, and berating me for not being open. But she's a rival, one who's expressed extreme anger at me in the past online, so I cant help think  her sugary seductive tactics online is more about relational aggression and gaining a peer status over me rather than any orginal interest in my friends. Ironically, not sure if this tactic works for the comic seller whom she likes and targets because she's faux seducing his online friend after all ( --what if they ever did date, how would she behave?). 

So I'm miserable because this group used to mean so so much to me, I used to cry thinking I might not connect with them daily.  I sense a sort of online bullying, sexual rivalry for attention, status games by charming my friends to dismiss me and (I think realistic) objections. And it's worked.

I dont want to burn bridges but I'm backing off from them online. I'm discovering  some other creatives that inspire me now. It's distracting me from finding a loyal significant other/art scene. When I briefy unadded/readded one online friend not sure what to do there was hysterics on "how manipulative I was" .....so I now discovered the MUTE button.  I'm controlling myself not them (cant control others) from watching their orgy--no I dont have to like a girl who doesnt like me and has ulterior motives. 

What does one do to protect themselve against "relational aggressive" people who infiltrate their scene for status/romantic rivalry like that? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2013
It's always been my experience that people show their true colors eventually. Just give them time. Your online friends may not see anything strange about this woman yet but they will. Hopefully, your relationship with them will not be ruined in the meantime.