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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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So, Ive been friends with a guy for almost a year now, we

Customer Question

So, I've been friends with a guy for almost a year now, we met online because of a common friend he studied with, and we'd been texting and chatting for a good while because we lived in different cities. One day, I have to go to his city on work, and I tell him about it. He asks me out. I'm interested, so I say yes. He says it's not going to be anything serious and because I'm coming off a bad relationship, that works well for me. Anyway, after some confusion, we figure out a place to meet, walk around on the beach, just talking and laughing and out of the blue, he tells me he has to leave in five minutes. I'm understandably confused, but tell him I'll take a rick back and not to worry and tell him I'd given him an out, and that if it was a busy day, he should've just taken it earlier. He says if he'd wanted to he would have, and also that this wasn't about work and that even though it was abominably rude, he'd explain in ten days. Later that night, he texts to check if I'm back safe and tells me I'd looked quite spectacular on our little date. Since I've come back home though, he's been completely cold, acts like it's a chore to talk to me and the one time I DID ask him what was wrong, he says "I needed to let you know about some news, and that night, but if you're not tearing to know I'll take an extension into the new year" Figuring he needed his space, I let that go. It's been a month now and he's still being completely weird, and at the very least, I miss my friend. What am I supposed to make of this at all?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 1 year ago.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Give me a moment to carefully read over and consider your question.

Customer:

Thanks Eleanor :)

Ask Eleanor :

I can certainly understand your being confused. I have been practicing Couples Therapy for 20 years in addition to individual psychotherapy and am pleased to help you. Do you mind answering a few questions for me?

Customer:

Please go ahead :)
I've tried everything and am altenating between frustrated and downright upset, so I'll be glad for any advice

Ask Eleanor :

Thanks. How old are you and he? I see you are in India; is this your nationality? What did you think of him when you met, were you attracted to him?

Customer:

I'm 20, he's 22. I'm Indian, and live here, yes. And yes, I was. I've always been intellectually drawn to him - he's incredibly smart and witty and has a way of putting me at ease that was such a change after my last exhausting relationship.

Customer:

But meeting him in person did add a physical aspect to it, yeah

Ask Eleanor :

Thanks for the information. And did he seem relaxed with you before he said he had to leave?

Customer:

He'd been a little shifty, and was quite apologetic about the fact that our plans had been messed up and kept telling me we should reschedule(fat chance, we live on opposite sides of the country) as I was leaving. Until that point, things had been good, though.

Ask Eleanor :

This is a hard question, but have you considered the possibility that he may be married?

Customer:

He isn't. I'm certain of that, the friend we have in common is very close to both of us, and she'd been actively encouraging it. So unless he's married without any of his friends knowing, I don't think that's an option.

Ask Eleanor :

Very Good! Just wanted to make sure. And he wanted to share some news with you but you declined?

Customer:

He wanted to share it with me, but only if I was absolutely "tearing to know" I know him well enough, to realize he didn't want to talk about it right then, so I said tell me when you're comfortable

Customer:

It's been 2 weeks since then, though

Customer:

and he's normal with almost everybody, so I can't imagine it was an emergency of any sort

Ask Eleanor :

I understand. Good friends share initimate details of their lives with one another. Perhaps it's time to ask him, what do you think?

Customer:

I've tried again, he avoids the question entirely

Customer:

It's like any mention of our ever having met was taboo

Customer:

*is

Customer:

which is confusing, because he expressed interest repeatedly and now it's like talking to me is a an absolute chore

Customer:

which is hurtful, if nothing else.

Ask Eleanor :

Very strange indeed. Do you know anything about his family?

Ask Eleanor :

And hurtful as well!

Customer:

His dad's a consultant, brother is at business school, mother used to run a nursery. Fairly chilled out lot, by all accounts

Customer:

If this helps in any way, he's very vague about answering questions that are personal
Like he won't even tell me his friend's name, he'll just say "my Bengali friend" or "my friend from there" or some such

Customer:

I can't understand it at all

Ask Eleanor :

Sounds like a pretty normal family. Are the friends he refers to online friends?

Customer:

No, friends he's known from being a debater, or college or high school

Customer:

Basically, solid people he knows and spends time with

Ask Eleanor :

Very, very odd. Do you think he may be gay?

Customer:

That was my worst-case option. That meeting me somehow lead to that realization, but I don't think that's the case either. Certainly never got that option, and I could feel he was attracted to me when we met

Ask Eleanor :

Well, it is certainly a possibility. Do you know if he has had girlfriends in the past?

Customer:

I don't know of them, but my common friend did say he'd been fairly popular with the ladies in the circles they moved in.

Customer:

Popular being a loose term for...casual hookups, I think

Ask Eleanor :

Okay, let me make a suggestion. You say you miss your "friend." I would approach him as a friend.

Ask Eleanor :

Tell him that you miss the friendship and want to be close like you were before you met.

Ask Eleanor :

Then tell him that he can tell you anything and you will still be his friend. And ask that he tell you what is going on.

Customer:

I'm terrified of coming across as clingy or something. Because I'm not. I just hate this state of flux

Customer:

Haha, that seems the only option

Customer:

That or he found me incredibly unattractive and is too polite to say it

Ask Eleanor :

I don't think you will come across clingy if you approach him as a friend. Yes, you cannot continue in this state of flux. And you can tell him that.

Ask Eleanor :

I doubt if he found you unattractive; he told you how good you looked and I assume he had seen picture of you before.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX needed a vent likely :)
This little episode has completely f**ked with my self-esteem again

Customer:

Haha, he has. But everybody has their preferences

Customer:

Not to sound like a braggart, but I've always been one of the more conventionally attractive people where I've gone, so if that is it, I'm confused

Customer:

but each to their own, I suppose

Ask Eleanor :

Try not to let this damage your self-esteem. I can almost guarantee you that this is about him, not about you!

Customer:

I hope it is :(
For all our bad rep, men are much more complicated than women

Ask Eleanor :

Unfortunately this is one of the dangers of an online relationship. I hope things work out with him, but if not you may want to make friends in person for a while.

Customer:

Thank you very much, Eleanor. :)
Yeah, that seems like a good idea.

Customer:

Omg

Ask Eleanor :

You are very welcome, my pleasure.

Customer:

this has accidentally

Customer:

given you bad rep

Customer:

can I reverse it?

Ask Eleanor :

That's okay, yes, you can rate again, hopefully, Excellent, Thanks!

Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience: Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
Ask Eleanor and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 1 year ago.
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