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What is the Best Way to Tell Him I Just Want to be Friends?
I really need some advice. I hope you can help.
Recently, I started chatting online with an ex-boyfriend. This was after three years of non-contact. Things went well, and after a few months we decided to remain friends - no romantic involvement.
He has had a girlfriend for the past two years, and he claims that he is really in love with her. I am ok with that - and have told him so. I do care for him - but only as 'friends'. I respect his feelings (even though he is inconsiderate of mine) and have patiently listened to him rant on about his current relationship.
They broke up a little while ago after experiencing intermittent problems that had lasted several months. We continued to chat online, and he provided me with all the gory details of their relationship and breakup. I have been supportive and respectful of both him and his girlfriend through all of this.
Unfortunately, the consideration and respect seems to be one way. He has walked all over my feelings more than once. I don't like his attitude - but I don't want to alienate him as a friend, either. How can I tell him how I feel? I want to remain friends.
Any tips or help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely, 'Ambivalent Gal Pal'
Dear Ambivalent Gal Pal:
Your alias says it all - you are ambivalent. Here is the dictionary definition of ambivalence, according to Merriam-Webster:
1 - simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
2a - continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)
2b - uncertainty as to which approach to follow
You seem to be all of the above.
It is difficult to balance a friendship with the leftover emotions from a past relationship. Your previous experiences and feelings are always there to cloud your judgment.
You claim that you want to be friends, and you continue to chat with this guy, even though he tramples all over your feelings.
Where is your self-esteem? Do you enjoy being stepped on? I think you need to step back and take a calculated look at the picture. Stay away from him completely for awhile and date other men. There are many sweet guys in the world who are looking for the right woman - wonderful guys who will treat you with respect. All you have to do is find them.
The details about your ex-boyfriend's relationships with you and his last girlfriend are rather sparse. However, I sense that there may be some emotional abuse involved. If that is the case, run - don't walk - away from this situation. Abused wives often start out as abused girlfriends.
You are a unique individual with your own special strengths and weaknesses. There is nobody else in the world quite like you. Capitalize on your strengths. Look at yourself in the mirror and do the Al Franken routine (remember 'Saturday Night Live'?)
- You're good enough.
- You're smart enough.
- People like you!
The routine on SNL may have been geared for comedy - but it did contain some solid advice.
All the best!
All advice given by Becca is for entertainment purposes only. Please seek professional help for serious problems.
About the Author: Becca writes regularly for the Advice 4 Daters website - and is one of the cogs behind the machinery at 1st Rate Articles - new to the net as of November, 2006.