Cleaning Up a Mess... Dating Guilt

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2009
Cleaning Up a Mess... Dating Guilt
6
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 11:57am

It's been a while since I posted.  I decided to take a dating hiatus after my baby brother's sudden death.  I've slowly been trying to get back into the dating scene (an adventure all its own) and have recently encountered an issue that is in the clean up stages...

First, I haven't had a situation like this since high school, and I am quite surprised to even be facing it now, but it is what it is.  The Dilemma:  my best friend and I like the same guy, and he's interested in me.

To lay some groundwork, here's the deal:  I met this "associate" of my best friend through mutual friends of ours at a party earlier this year.  From the time we met, there seemed to be some chemistry which I decided to quell when she expressed interest in the gentleman.  What I didn't know at the time was that she has known this guy for over 10 years and never expressed any interest in him.  In fact, they never communicated beyond casual conversation at get-togethers.  After this party, I noticed her talking about him and seemingly get excited about him, so I decided to step back and encouraged her to pursue her interest in him.  Over the course of the next few weeks, she communicated to me that she would reach out to him but he never would respond with more than a casual text.  Whenever we would end up at functions together, I would make it a point to make sure they sat together so they could get a chance to interact with each other.  Unfortunately, according to my friend, the guy would never really respond to her "advances" (I use that word because I just recently discovered that she obtained his cell phone number through someone else.  He did not give it to her), so she wrote him off as a "playboy" and I encouraged her to move on...

Here's where it gets sticky.  While at yet another function with our mutual friends (my best friend did not attend), "the guy" and I got a chance to talk and he clearly expressed interest in me.  I turned him down flat and let him know my reason was because my best friend was interested in him.  He seemed shocked, because he never felt like he had given her any indication that he wanted anything more than friendship with her.  I expressed my discomfort with the situation, and he offered to have a conversation with her to clear up any misunderstanding because he wanted to get to know me better.

So... he called her and had a conversation with her (of course I know about this because she called me immediately aftewards--very upset).  A week later, he asked me out again. I decided to meet him for drinks and we really had a great time.  However, I felt so uncomfortable and selfish.  I feel like I am taking something from a friend or doing something behind her back (which I guess I am).  In fact, I felt so bad that I declined an offer for a second date.  The thing is, I really enjoyed spending time with him and would like to go out with him again, but I feel like I should let my friend know what's going on.

...so I'm a little afraid.  Will she get upset with me?  Will she think I vindictively went after this guy knowing that she was interested?  

At the end of the day, the friendship is more important.  How would you handle it?  Until I figure this out, I have not been in communication with the guy.  I think things are too muddy right now.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 2:43pm

Yes this is sticky.  It sounds as if your friend is a little immature--she kept pursuing the guy, who didn't respond, so she concludes he must be a "playboy" instead of just figuring he wasn't interested.  If she has known him 10 yrs, she certainly has had a lot of time to date him & it never worked out.  I do think you should tell her that he is interested in you and ask if she would mind if you dated him because that's what a friend would do.  Unfortunately I think she is going to say that she doesn't want you to date him & then I think you have to decide what to do.  It's not really fair for her to ask you not to date him--it's not like he's an exBF--she never dated him at all & he's not interested in her so why shoudln't you have a chance?  I was out one night in a club with a friend and I pointed out a guy who I thought looked nice--she said she would help me talk to him and instead he asker her out.  she told me this the next day & asked if I would mind and I said no--I wasn't going to get a date with him anyway so why not let her date him?  She did go out & she ended up not liking him but I was glad that she asked me instead of just doing it.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Tue, 04-09-2013 - 2:40am

tinyblu wrote:
<p>It's been a while since I posted.  I decided to take a dating hiatus after my baby brother's sudden death.  I've slowly been trying to get back into the dating scene (an adventure all its own) and have recently encountered an issue that is in the clean up stages...</p><p>First, I haven't had a situation like this since high school, and I am quite surprised to even be facing it now, but it is what it is.  The Dilemma:  my best friend and I like the same guy, and he's interested in me.</p><p>To lay some groundwork, here's the deal:  I met this "associate" of my best friend through mutual friends of ours at a party earlier this year.  From the time we met, there seemed to be some chemistry which I decided to quell when she expressed interest in the gentleman.  What I didn't know at the time was that she has known this guy for over 10 years and never expressed any interest in him.  In fact, they never communicated beyond casual conversation at get-togethers.  After this party, I noticed her talking about him and seemingly get excited about him, so I decided to step back and encouraged her to pursue her interest in him.  Over the course of the next few weeks, she communicated to me that she would reach out to him but he never would respond with more than a casual text.  Whenever we would end up at functions together, I would make it a point to make sure they sat together so they could get a chance to interact with each other.  Unfortunately, according to my friend, the guy would never really respond to her "advances" (I use that word because I just recently discovered that she obtained his cell phone number through someone else.  He did not give it to her), so she wrote him off as a "playboy" and I encouraged her to move on...</p><p>Here's where it gets sticky.  While at yet another function with our mutual friends (my best friend did not attend), "the guy" and I got a chance to talk and he clearly expressed interest in me.  I turned him down flat and let him know my reason was because my best friend was interested in him.  He seemed shocked, because he never felt like he had given her any indication that he wanted anything more than friendship with her.  I expressed my discomfort with the situation, and he offered to have a conversation with her to clear up any misunderstanding because he wanted to get to know me better.</p><p>So... he called her and had a conversation with her (of course I know about this because she called me immediately aftewards--very upset).  A week later, he asked me out again. I decided to meet him for drinks and we really had a great time.  However, I felt so uncomfortable and selfish.  I feel like I am taking something from a friend or doing something behind her back (which I guess I am).  In fact, I felt so bad that I declined an offer for a second date.  The thing is, I really enjoyed spending time with him and would like to go out with him again, but I feel like I should let my friend know what's going on.</p><p>...so I'm a little afraid.  Will she get upset with me?  Will she think I vindictively went after this guy knowing that she was interested?  </p><p>At the end of the day, the friendship is more important.  How would you handle it?  Until I figure this out, I have not been in communication with the guy.  I think things are too muddy right now.</p>

You are not taking anything from your friend.  She expressed interest in a man who has, in turn, told her that the feelings are not mutual and that he likes you.  She is not owed a relationship with him just because she has interest.

Now, where you would be wrong would be to tell your friend that you have absolutely no interest in him and that your friendship with her is more important but you go ahead and see him behind her back.  If you have interest in him and wish to pursue him, then tell your friend that you are. Yes, she may be mad, but she will, in the end, respect you for telling her the truth.  It's up to her to get over her unrequited interest in him: it's up to you to live your life with integrity and if that includes this guy, then be integral about it.

Having had this done to me a while back, my advise would be to live in your truth and be up front about what you intend upon doing and stick to that.  In my situation, I liked a co-worker, my friend liked the same guy, and he liked her more than me.  He told me that he was flattered by my interest, but that he really wanted to date my friend and not me.  It hurt, but there it was.  She told me that she would never do anything to harm our friendship, blah blah freakin' blah...  as I was leaving work on night (I had stayed late to finish up some work), I was walking out and who was right in front of me but the two of them, dressed to go out on a date.  They did not know I was walking to the parking lot behind them.  When she turned around and saw me, she literally cringed.  Needless to say, our friendship didn't survive her deceit.

Fast forward that story--she eventually married him, had two babies with him and cheated on him with someone else who worked with us, broke up that man's long marriage and is now married to him.  And I recently found out she got demoted from her supervisory position (I'd left that company a long whle ago).  There is a part of me that wants to find the guy who dropped me off at the mall and ask him "so was she really worth it?  I wouldn't have cheated on you..."

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 9:53am
I'm a guy. Years ago, a friend broke up with his girlfriend at the time. They still hung around each other at times. I had always thought she was attractive and we connected well. One night we all went out until very late, he came home and passed out, I was in another room and she came in. We messed around a little bit and I really wanted to be with her, but didn't. Nothing much happened. The next day I told him about it....and he never quite believed nothing happened, there always some tension. And I kicked myself, because if that was going to be his reaction anyway, I should have at least enjoyed that night with her.
 
In other words, your friend is probably going to be upset either way - that he likes you more than her, or that you are going on dates with him. Then at least enjoy the dates, it may turn into something worthwhile. The thing to do is be genuine, not delay anymore and tell her. Let her deal with it as she will.  Probably not well at first, she sounds a bit off.
Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 3:50pm

As was already put forward, you should pursue the truth. If she can't handle the truth, then that is nothing on you, it is all on her. Seeing as she has already displayed some immature behaviors in this situation, there seems a good chance she might have a hissy fit. A mature person would be happy for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2009
Wed, 04-17-2013 - 12:50pm

Thanks for the input guys... I did go ahead and tell my friend that I had gone out with the guy and we seemed to be hitting it off.  She was FURIOUS!!!  I think it was more a case of hurt pride more than anything.  She told me that he was an A** hole and he would hurt me, and that I shouldn't come crying to her when he does, because it's only a matter of time before that happens.

Strangely, he never returned her "advances", and she had me convinced that he was a playboy.  However, he has communicated with me every day (voice-on-voice... no cyber chatting).  He's been really available and up front about wanting to get to know me better, and we really enjoy each other's company.

I hope this blows over soon.  I would have to choose between a friend and a guy... seems like the friend would be the most logical choice...

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Fri, 04-19-2013 - 2:33pm

Yeah hurt pride is right. She is getting furious over an "A-hole"(her words) not responding to her advances. So why was she pursuing an a-hole to begin with.