Newbie to the Board - maybe you can help

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Newbie to the Board - maybe you can help
6
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 2:38pm
Hello everyone~

I've lurked here the last few days and finally got the nerve up to post. I've never done this before and am so amazed at how many people are willing to help someone they don't even know! I hope you might be able to clear some confusion for me. This is long, but I'd really appreciate the feedback.

My story - my good friend, "J", of 5 years came on to me last fall. I don't think I am mistaken (I think asking someone out alone for a drink, then suggesting he'd like to get to know me more than just friends is pretty obvious.) J. is married, I am single. I am also in my late 40's, he's in his early 50's. I have also been alone for some time, having my last long term relationship end about a year and a half ago. I was shocked at my own reaction to this - I actually felt attracted to J. and was extremely flattered at his attention. I really had not had that kind of male attention for awhile and as insecure as this sounds, really felt at 48 years old, I was kind of "over the hill" in that department - I know, I know, this is my perception of me, not what is really the case.

I did not let the situation go any farther, because I was afraid of ramifications with family, mutual friends, and to be honest, after reading so many of your postings, the hurt and pain I might subject myself to. J. became distant, almost as if nothing had happened - instead of a friendship, he acted like we were polite aquaintances.

I still had feelings for him, but didn't know what to say - I just didn't have the nerve to talk to him because I was afraid of being "rejected" in my attempt.

Now, I feel the friendship was a sham, that for some reason, he used it as a jumping off point to try to get more intimate with me. I also feel disregarded, and as much as this is going to sound ridiculous, I actually found myself envying some of you who post that your XMM keep trying to contact you, get back together with you, etc. I realize too, how much pain you've been through, but I guess where I am now, feeling rejected, I almost would welcome that attempt at least to show he felt something for me.

The one thing this did show me in some backhanded way, is that I may still be attractive to the opposite sex. And there's another part of me that wants to get back out there and date, but seems held back by this experience.

My questions are - did I do the right thing by not getting involved, even though this hurts? Did any of you single ladies (and guys) find that getting out just to date helped your sense of self-esteem after your A ended? And finally, 48's not too old to start over is it? (winks, but could use the boost!) I really thank you all in advance!

Chelsea2004

Avatar for guardedticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-17-2003 - 10:06am
Hi Chelsea and welcome to the board. I should tell you that you did absolutely the right thing by not accepting this MM's advances. It is a shame that he wasn't the friend you thought him to be but you know, who needs a friend like that anyway? I too am in my 40's and I know how you have felt at times about getting out there and having a real relationship with someone. But you know they do happen. I would think the best thing to do is to put yourself out there socially, meet some new people, make some new friends and if there is a man in your future, he will certainly rise to the top and show you. That's how I choose to live my life. I've had failed relationships and have reached a point where I would rather be on my own than fail in another one. At the same time, I am certainly open to the possibility of meeting someone who could enhance my life. You need to have some faith that what is meant to be, will be. There is nothing wrong with an occasion date with a friend, just not a married one because that is how you will end up in the sort of pain all of us here have. But regarding this MM, if he is a player and you rejected him in his first attempt to take things further, he is going to run away. These men look for vulnerable women to make their prey. And if you have any further contact with him in the future, I would let him know that every man has the right to ask, but every woman has the right to say no. And if you think you could have feelings for him that are on a romantic level, then I don't think there is any harm in telling him that but you also need to make it clear that you have no intention of getting involved on anything more than a friendship level as long as he is married. If he respects you, he'll be accepting of that. Don't think the friendship is over. Most people don't take too kindly to being rejected. He may come around and offer friendship to you again and if that happens, you really need to make it clear to him how you feel.

But get yourself out there! Have some fun! You deserve it just like we all do.

Hugs,

GT

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 9:10am
Hi Guardedticker~

Thank you so much for your answer - I have felt that because the MM friend in my case stopped contact with me, pretended nothing happened, seemed polite but distant, he rejected ME. I never thought that he interpreted my non participation as a rejection of him. I guess it says more about my esteem level right now than the reality - I perceived he saw me as potentially a "bit on the side" as crude as it sounds, and frankly do feel the friendship is over or at least changed. Some day I would like to have a talk with him to express my feelings - maybe not now, but I think I have a need to get some sort of "closure" for my own sake. Did you ever do this? You seem to be moving on so well in your life (though I have only gleaned a little of what your own situation might have been from some of the previous posts) and seem very strong today.

Again thanks so much and next time I'll post in the other section of this Board - I agree with you guys - it really takes some navigational patience to use this - I didn't realize I was in the Off Topics section (whatever THAT means!) til I posted!

Take care

Chelsea

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 5:56pm
Chelsea,

You should be really glad that you turned down your 'good friends' advances. If you had accepted them, I can almost assure you that you'd be part of a big mess right now, especially since you're single.

In reading your post you said that you had been good friends with this person for 5 years? If that's true, and now suddenly he's not interested in the friendship, I would say he's feeling rejected. If you've been friends that long, perhaps a discussion about things would clear the air. Now if I'm reading this wrong, and you were acquaintances and then he suddenly showed an interest in you for a short period of time, which ended when you let him know that you were not interested, then that sounds like he was looking for a something outside of his marriage and when he realized he wasn't going to get it from you he moved on. And, if that's the case, do you really want to be friends with someone who's only interested in his ulterior motives?

In my situation, I had a co-worker take a sudden interest in me and try to cultivate a friendship. He even did the 'I just want to get to know you better' thing, which unlike you, I ended up falling for. What I've realized is that men who want to cheat on their wives have to make an effort to find something to cheat with. I realize that many people just 'fall' into their EMAs, but I do believe many men (and women) go looking for EMAs and so they have to stick their neck out from time to time or they wouldn't get anywhere. It doesn't necessarily make them a bad person, just maybe a little sad :)

Anyway, congratulations on doing the right thing and don't feel rejected-he's definately the one feeling that way right now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 1:58am
Jeez Girl! You're still a baby! Friendship with this man for 5 yrs. first? Don't think it was a sham! Yes, you did the right thing by not getting involved with a MM! From his point of view he's probably feeling every bit as old and unattractive as you say you are feeling! Make up with him! Don't lose the friendship! Just don't cross that line! I'm sure you are a beautiful Lady! Go slay them! Give J something to feel proud of too! Just don't slay him! I have 2 male friends that make my life great! One is 53 one is 61. I am 43. We've had to have those talks! But, we've had them!!! We're still best buddies! I need them and they need me! We'll remain friends for life because we never crossed the line! The one I crossed the line with is no longer even anything remotely like a friend!

J sounds to me like a man of honor! That is something to cherish in this messed up world!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 4:36pm
Hi Sweeterblond43 and downtoearth - Sorry, still getting the hang of this board, and not sure how to respond to both of you at the same time!

Thanks so much for your replies. Yeah, Sweet I think I still am a baby as far as this whole thing goes - I have never been approached by a MM before, ever, so it really threw me for a loop. You know, I finally did have a talk with J. Not a long one, and it was interesting yet, still bittersweet because I still do and may always have feelings for him until the "next one" comes along, (I hope! Single and available too) He basically said that he realized the impossibility of anything ever happening but still said he had feelings for me and just didn't realize that by not communicating with me that it would hurt me in any way. I told him he was still my friend, but I just have to deal with these feelings and for him to understand why I felt confused and wondered if there were ulterior motives after his communication stopped. He looked really surprised and apologized but genuinely didn't realize it came across that way.

I very much would like to believe that he still cares in some way, even though nothing can happen. I have recently found out that there have been 3 deaths in his immediate family and I feel so bad - I really want to offer support, but now when I see him on this project we're working on together (did I mention that?) he is very drawn and down understandably. He still seems uncomfortable around me, talks to the males on the project more but I now understand that this is probably a horrendous time for him dealing with so much. I'll try to be supportive, but it is difficult not to allow strong emotions to take over - I hate seeing people in pain and if it were anyone else, I'd be there to help in whatever way I could like a shot.

O.K. one last question, if you're still out there following this post - I think I'm at the point where I don't think I can feel this way about anyone else - I know, still a baby - but did you girls find that you could feel that "way" again after your A were over? Thanks so much again - I'm so glad I found this board!

Chelsea

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 4:01am
Yes girl! You can feel this way again! Something I've never shared here is that I met another man that made me realize I'm still very much alive! I'm married and have since put my whole heart and soul into fixing my marriage. So far so good! Someone else will come along to light your fire! In the meantime, it's just not worth the heartbreak to cross the line!

I gained much knowledge as a result of my A.! But, at a huge price! If you consider the blood,sweat, and tears = to cold hard cash I could be a friggin' brain surgeon for sure!!!

Be J's friend! Sounds like he needs one desperately! But, be careful! That "people in pain" thing is something I do very well! It's also gotten me hurt! In most cases it was worth it! The majority of the time reaching out to someone who is hurting gives me so much more then I gave! It just completes me!!! It was nice to see your reply! You're figuring out the board just fine! Just type and post and you'll be heard! Join the general discussions though. It will help you get heard a tad sooner!

Peace and Love!