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Question
Posted by: Meghan | 2012/04/19

Do I or don''t I?

I have a male friend who I have been communicating with via sms and email (he lives in another country). He does not want to get involved in an emotional relationship and prefers his bachelor lifestyle. He made a rule regarding our friendship, if any one of us should develop en emotional attachment, that we would call it quits. I agreed to that as I do not want to get hurt. The problem is that since actually speaking to him telephonically (not via sms or email), I realised that I do have feelings for him. I don''t know what to do. Do I tell him how I feel and call it quits or just call it quits without giving him a reason for my decision. Even if he lived in SA we would never have a relationship as he is not interested in having a relationship with a woman other than friendship. (He is divorced and had two relationships after his divorce which also ended badly!) I need to get on with my life and sort out the issues that I have. I cannot continue this friendship with a man I have feelings for, it''s inevitable that I will get hurt at the end of the day! Please advise. I don''t know what to do. I don''t want to hurt his feelings, but I don''t want to get hurt either.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

This is a VIRTUAL relationship, conducted electronically. See a counsellor to work out your own issues. Surely ending the relationship WITHOUT telling him why would be unnecessarily hurtful ? Why not simply tell him you find you are developing more felings for him than either of you had expected, and in terms of the agreement he had asked for, you feel it'd be wise to end the relationship now, as friends ?
For you to be mildly sad for a short while would be reasonable. To allow yourself to feel DEVASTATED sounds a bit over the top and self-indulgent. Remember there were mostly good times, and you had agreed that the relationship would never become deeper or more complex than it already was, so you haven't actually lost anything you either had or planned to have.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Meghan | 2012/04/19

Thanks Anon. I have just let him know about my decision and I was honest and upfront about my reasons why. He is not happy about it at all, but has accepted my decision. He made the rule that there was to be no emotional attachments between us!!! I am devastated by what I have decided to do and it has hurt me a lot by ending it, but I maintain it would''ve hurt a lot more should I have carried on with him and allowed stronger feelings to develop from my side. I value and appreciate his frienship, but I am not a machine, I cannot just switch myself off and on when it comes to him. I have spoken to him about his past hurts, but it goes a lot deeper than just a divorce and failed relationships. He had a very abusive father, unhappy childhood and suffers from depression. Thanks for your input Anon. I did not think calling quits on a frienship could hurt so much!

Reply to Meghan
Posted by: Anon | 2012/04/19

What harm would it do to let him know why you are ending your friendship? if you are planning on ending it either way and you already have feelings for him aren''t you already sad or hurting over it to some extent?

If one of my friends suddenly decided to put an end to our friendship without giving me a clear reason why, I would be worried and wonder what I did that could have caused them to want to completely remove me from their life. I would not simply let it go.

If this man views you as a friend, he must care about you in atleast some way and chances are he wont simply let it go without some explation either. By not being upfront about your reason you may very well just drag out the farewell or make it more painful.

I hope you have encouraged him to seek some help in dealing with his past relationships, putting up walls to block out everyone because of a few rotten apples isn''t healthy.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/04/19

This is a VIRTUAL relationship, conducted electronically. See a counsellor to work out your own issues. Surely ending the relationship WITHOUT telling him why would be unnecessarily hurtful ? Why not simply tell him you find you are developing more felings for him than either of you had expected, and in terms of the agreement he had asked for, you feel it'd be wise to end the relationship now, as friends ?
For you to be mildly sad for a short while would be reasonable. To allow yourself to feel DEVASTATED sounds a bit over the top and self-indulgent. Remember there were mostly good times, and you had agreed that the relationship would never become deeper or more complex than it already was, so you haven't actually lost anything you either had or planned to have.

Reply to cybershrink

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