A friend's situation...thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2010
A friend's situation...thoughts?
Sun, 10-10-2010 - 1:20am

Hi all. I have posted this on several boards as I wasn't sure which category it best fit into. Hope this is ok!

Ok, I was curious what others thought on what happened to my friend because it makes no sense to me (or to him, for that matter). And just to add: he and I have been friends for a decade, never had any romantic interest in each other.

My friend is male and 33. He met a woman when he was 18 (she was 17 then) and had a strong feeling that she was the one for him. They met on a youth exchange programme. Let's call her Jane. He is from the UK and she is from the US. They met in the UK in 1997. He didn't make a move on her back then due to their ages and their living situation. They stayed friends but lost touch after a while. Then, in 2003, they reconnect via email (can't remember who contacted whom). I have known him since 2000.

He told me all about this girl, was so excited to be back in touch with him. Thought that this was fate and she was meant for him. I think it sounds romantic and am happy for him. He starts flirting with her, she reciprocates. He is however very shy around women so this goes on for a long time, without him telling her how he feels about her. Then, in 2004, she comes to visit him and he tells her how he feels. They have a brief relationship, without being sexually intimate, lasting a few months, then break up because neither was ready to move countries to be together, and LDR proved too difficult. He'd just finished college at the time and did not know yet what sort of career he wanted to pursue (and needing a visa to work in the US would have made that even more complex), she had just started her first proper job and was reluctant to move to another country before she was more established in her career (academia). When this happened he was 27 and she was 26.

They kept in touch via email, writing twice a day. My friend is a fantastic guy, with a great sense of humour, brains, sensitive. She started to rely on him a lot for emotional support and would ask his advice on the men she was dating. This tore him up but he figured it was better than not hearing from her at all. He then starts dating someone from late 2006 till late 2008. They break up because she says she is not happy in he relationship. She has a history of abusive/dysfunctional relationships, so maybe did not know how to be with a good guy. Who knows.

Jane is upset when she hears he is dating somone (he told her because they are very open with each other). She proposes to him while he is with the other woman. He turns her down because he is in a relationship that he feels is leading to marriage one day. But her proposal starts to sow doubts about the woman he is dating. He still feels that Jane and he were meant to be.

In 2009, when he has been single for half a year, he visits Jane in the States. Her suggestion. Her family love him. He tells me he is going to propose to her whilst there. He does. She says no. Says she would not be able to make a good wife to him, claims she has too many issues. She told him before he comes over to see her that she has been on a first date with someone (let's call him Joe), but with her being American this did not put him off proposing as Jane and the other guy had just met and she wasn't sure at all whether she liked him, they weren't exclusive and people in the States often date multiple people.

My friend is crushed at her 'no'. Says he needs to get over her now and they'll never be together. She tells him few months later than she is engaged. To Joe. Who she has known for a few months only. And my friend cannot understand it at all. He thought they were soulmates. She told him there was noone in her life that understands and accepts her like my friend. She loves his company. Yet she turns him down.

Joe makes a lot of money (and has wealthy parents); her engagement ring cost $250,000 apparently (that is what she told him, but I was thinking * * * ??). My friend earns $40,000 a year. She earned less than that and is from a family with modest background. I met her in 2004 and she struck me as someone nice and not money-obsessed.

My friend is beating himself up, worried that he doesn't earn enough for a woman to be interested in him. Before all this he was comfortable with his salary (it will go up over time, probably settling around $55-65K. If he moved to the States (which he would like to do), he could afford a home and support a family. Even in the UK that would be possible, but would probably mean a somewhat smaller property. Any which way, he is not poor.

So...what do you guys think? Does her behaviour strike you as odd? Turning down one guy you've known for decades saying you would not make a good wife, only to be engaged to someone soon after who you have known for a few months? Why would she not make a good wife to my friend but yet is happy to become the wife of someone else? Is it because my friend doesn't earn enough in her estimate? None of the people involved are actively practising any religion, there is no arranged marriage involved.

It makes no sense to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sun, 10-10-2010 - 6:45pm

No, her behaviour is not odd.