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  #1  
Old 01-21-2014, 03:20 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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Default Is this potential friend crossing the line?

My best friend is a monogamous guy who used to be poly. He is very certain that he wants monogamy for himself at present. He does have a poly primary partner, is fine with her remaining actively poly even if he is not, and still enjoys socializing with other poly people, including me.

One of the reasons he chose monogamy for himself is that he seemed to have a knack for picking women who caused a lot of drama and craziness and were openly hostile towards his primary partner. It is not the only reason, but it's a factor.

So all three of us went to this poly event two weeks ago and met this nice woman. I liked her as a friend immediately, as did he. I was part of their very first conversation, in which he told her that he wasn't interested in dating anyone there or anywhere, just interested in making friends. She told him that she really hated hearing that, because she thought he was very attractive.

He reports to me that since then, she has been emailing him and messaging him on Facebook, and has "liked" numerous Facebook photos of him, even some that are years old. He said that the messages have included a ton of flattery about how handsome and sexy he is, how charming he is, and how disappointed that she is that he doesn't want to date anyone. She has also told him that she feels that if she is patient, she will be "rewarded." He said he didn't know if she meant "rewarded with a nice platonic friendship with him" or "rewarded with him deciding to have poly relationships again and having a romantic relationship with her."

Since he is so drama-adverse, he asked my advice about whether he really can pursue a platonic friendship with this person considering how she is starting things off. I have no idea. I know he wants more friends. I am not really sure whether this person is stepping over boundaries, or if she is likely to do so. It seems like she may be, that she may be obsessing over someone who is unattainable, but I don't want to advise him to back away from a promising friendship if I'm wrong about that.

Does anyone have any insights here?
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2014, 03:25 PM
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I'd be hesitant - it sounds to me like she's pushing very hard at the dating boundary. I've never known anyone to use the "if I've been patient, I'll be 'rewarded'" thing with respect to a friendship.

I may be wrong, but I'd be inclined to keep her at arms' length for now.
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Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:18 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
One of the reasons he chose monogamy for himself is that he seemed to have a knack for picking women who caused a lot of drama and craziness
He actively picks them out? Or he just doesn't say "no" to them when they latch on to him?

Quote:
He said he didn't know if she meant "rewarded with a nice platonic friendship with him" or "rewarded with him deciding to have poly relationships again and having a romantic relationship with her."
He could ask her what she meant before deciding.

Quote:
Since he is so drama-adverse, he asked my advice about whether he really can pursue a platonic friendship with this person considering how she is starting things off.
Or... he could be decisive right now without additional information. He could just assess with the data he has so far.

I go with "anything less than a joyous yes is called a working no" for my thinking/decision making processes. Serves me well. Could apply that here.

He can always pursue friendship. What is unknown is what he will receive BACK from her.

Since he has doubts he will receive back "friendship mode" here? He could listen to his doubts and wonder what in her behavior is raising doubts to begin with:
  • She's stated she's attracted to him.
  • She's stated she hates (not just disappointed but hates) hearing that he is not looking.
  • She's stated she's hoping that if she hangs around "being patient" she will be "rewarded" (with what she wants.) (Which means she hated hearing he is not looking and she's not accepting that he is not looking.)
  • She's been inspiring feelings of "confusion ugh" in him with her behavior.

Minor ugh so far, but ugh all the same. Last I checked my friends don't run around creating confusion or ugh for me with their behaviors.

If he experiences doubts, he could accept it is not "a joyous yes!" here at this time that he will receive back friendship. He could call it a "working no" then in order for him to be able to decide right now what to do next.
"I am not open to receive random unknown from her. I am not open to receive crushy-datey from her. I would only be open to receiving friendship from her.

Since I she approaches me weird, and I don't want to ask her to clarify her intentions? I am def not getting loud and clear "friendship intentions here." Lack of joyous yes = working no. So NO! I will NOT pursue friendship here so I can be free from current confusion and potential future drama."
Quote:
I don't want to advise him to back away from a promising friendship if I'm wrong about that.
Let me lift this up -- an outcome of "friendship" has not been actually promised here. Nothing has been promised from the woman. The question on the table at this time is not evaluating if that possible outcome (friendship) has been achieved yet.

The questions on the table for your friend is
  • "Am I open to receiving random whatever from this woman?" (sounds like "no" to me.)
  • "Am I open to receiving crushy stuff from this woman? (sounds like "no" to me)
  • "Do I even want to know or clarify her intentions towards me? (seems like "no" since he did not clarify at the time.)
  • "What's she offering me here? Is it clear? (Nope. No clear offer of friendship on table.)
  • "What have I gotten so far? (confusion ugh)"

Does he want to sign up for more of all that? Sounds like 4 counts of "no" to me!

He wants your help thinking this out. You don't want to tell him "don't go there" because you don't want to be wrong. How about not making your advice to him be about your want? And having it be about what supports your friend in his current goal? ( I mean that kindly. )

So far what is your confidence or his confidence about her ability to control her behavior and not cross the line or step on toes and keep it in the friendship bucket? Because you are experiencing doubts and so is he. He had to ask you for help and you had to post about it.

It is totally ok to vote "no confidence." That's not "joyous yes" either -- another working no.

If his goal is to reduce drama, ugh, confusion in his life? You could support him in his goal by telling him you vote "no confidence" in her ability to keep boundaries, listen to him (not looking), and accept his limits (wants to ignore it and hang around waiting to be "rewarded"). So far she's been "leaky." So he could consider just skipping this one and seek friendship elsewhere with a less leaky person.

Your friendship with him can handle the honesty and authenticity -- he trusts you. That's why he asked you to help to begin with. So... be honest.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-21-2014 at 05:34 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2014, 08:09 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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No, I wouldn't say my buddy has intentionally picked out women who bring drama and craziness, Galagirl. I think he has been attracted to emotional women who tend to open up to him a lot, quickly, and perhaps people like that tend to be on the loony side. I'm like that myself and I think that is why we are such good friends, except I'm not loony (I hope). He also has historically been attracted to women who pay him a lot of attention and are willing to spend a lot of time on the relationship, right off the bat, so that would encompass people who tend to get obsessive and spooky. Does that make sense?

You make a good case for not actively pursuing a friendship with her. He can't avoid her completely since they have a couple of social circles in common, and I don't think he wants to do that, but he can at least steer clear of hanging out with her in a situation where she could cross his boundaries.

Thanks for your input, and for yours too, YouAreHere.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:18 PM
LadyLigeia LadyLigeia is offline
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Default "No" doesn't mean ask five minutes later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarletzinnia View Post
She has also told him that she feels that if she is patient, she will be "rewarded." He said he didn't know if she meant "rewarded with a nice platonic friendship with him" or "rewarded with him deciding to have poly relationships again and having a romantic relationship with her."
This is the part that I find the most alarming. She evidently doesn't respect his boundaries and I am quite confident that she didn't mean that her patience would lead to a "rewarding" friendship. It seems like she is perfectly fine with disregarding his wishes in favor of a very one-sided pursuit which doesn't correspond with his desires. That's not a good sign AT ALL because she is violating his comfort zone and failing to respect that he is monogamous. Poly or not, that is really uncool. That kind of "persistence" is merely boundary-breaking behavior, a definitive attribute of rapists and other manipulative sorts of people. I'm obviously not calling her a rapist, but her behavior is definitely inappropriate and manipulative. In my opinion, that is a HUGE red flag because it doesn't reflect trustworthiness or integrity.

Honestly, I've tried to secure friendships with people whose sexual/romantic interest I didn't reciprocate. Aside from the cases where we were friends for a while and then they told me that they were into me, it hasn't been successful because that underlying intention will always be there and unless she can come to terms with the knowledge that a romantic relationship will (most likely) never come to fruition, she will always agendize the relationship to fulfill that objective. Most likely, she'll see it as "settling" for a platonic friendship because she views it as a better option than no relationship at all and use that as a crutch to remain, um, "patient" while clinging to the not-so-secret hope that he "comes around" or whatever. People with this attitude usually don't hide it that well, especially if they were/are attracted to you from the get-go. I've tried to transform "interested" folk into friends but their flirtatious behavior was too flagrant and my rejection of a romantic/sexual relationship with them usually marked the end of our relationship.

My friend and I have been continuously disappointed and hurt when either of us meet a cool person (usually a guy) we want to be friends with. They'll shower us with all kinds of attention and devote a lot of time to us, but when we express that we don't want "that kind" of relationship with them, they are nowhere to be found. It's the sordid reality of the "girlfriend-zoned" and your friend runs a high risk of being "boyfriend-zoned." In fact, he already is.

There was this one kid who I had a lukewarm attraction for and I really enjoy(ed) hanging out with his friends. They would usually hang out at his place. On multiple occasions, I expressed that I a.) didn't want to have sex right away (because I had a feeling he would stop talking to me afterwards) but the sexual tension colored all of our interactions. I told him I didn't want to hook up right away. The last time we hung out, he kept trying to isolate me from the group (and getting pissed when I was enjoying one of the many interesting discussions we were having) to make out with me. A few times, I was even in the middle of talking. The next day, I texted him saying that any kind of "flame" that might have existed and of course, he blamed it on being drunk. I got one measly text from him a few months later and haven't heard from him since. It's lame, but if a friendship is authentic, one will accept that you don't requite their romantic or sexual interest and resume, although they might need time to recover from perceived embarrassment. Let's face it, though - Pursuing someone who has blatantly rejected you shows poor social judgment at best and egocentrism/disregard for the boundaries of others.

"No" doesn't mean ask five minutes later. That adage is especially applicable to your friend's situation. Your friend can't be passive-aggressive about establishing those boundaries, either. In order for any kind of good relationship to flower, he has to clearly communicate that her attention is overwhelming and if she wants to associate with him, she has to respect that he is committed to monogamy and not interested in a non-platonic relationship with her. If she violates his terms and conditions, he has to give her the boot because that conveys disrespect.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2014, 12:13 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
He also has historically been attracted to women who pay him a lot of attention and are willing to spend a lot of time on the relationship, right off the bat, so that would encompass people who tend to get obsessive and spooky. Does that make sense?
Gotcha. Clam chowder is soup. Not all soups are clam chowder.

But still... given that some of the selections that appear before him sound kinda loopy --- he could be careful not to get sucked in!

GG
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:11 PM
london london is offline
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It's obvious what she wants. He's keeping his options open.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:53 PM
bookbug bookbug is online now
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I tried turning the genders around in my head. If a guy behaved as she is doing, it would be viewed as aggressive, and stalkerish, and frankly would scare the hell out of me.
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Old 01-23-2014, 01:34 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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It's obvious to me that she totally wants into his pants and will never be happy with platonic anything. Clearly, the "reward" she wants is to ride his dick and make him a conquest. Some people get into poly and think it's about "collecting partners" -- and unfortunately there is little substance in those relationships, but the person can boast about having a lot. She doesn't sound like a good candidate for friendship or a relationship, because she dismisses what she is told and is quite aggressive about getting what she wants despite what others' preferences or requests are. She sounds like a big ol' bag of drama.

If I were him, I'd unfriend her on Facebook or adjust security levels there so she can't see his posts or pictures, and avoid contact with her. I never understand why people connect to strangers or others they barely know on FB, where questionable folks could see all their personal stuff. Doesn't make sense to me. But anyway, yeah, she crossed the line.

If he wants to build friendships, he can find potential friends almost anywhere, so he shouldn't feel desperate to hold on to this as if she's his last chance for a friend. And it seems to me that he needs to work on developing and improving his ability to size people up.
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Last edited by nycindie; 01-23-2014 at 01:37 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-04-2014, 03:01 PM
scarletzinnia scarletzinnia is offline
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Default Well, looks like you folks were right

So my friend wrote an email to the woman who was interested in him, basically saying that he was mono, that was not going to change for anyone, least of all her, and while the flirting and flattery she was sending his way was fun, he expressed concern that it looked like she wanted much more than simple friendship. She wrote back that she understood and thanked him for clarifying things. Then he saw her at a social event the very next day, with his wife, and this woman started playing with his hair in a rather intimate way. She made both him and his wife uncomfortable. He said that neither of them were inclined to deal with her in person during a friendly social occasion, but that he IMed her later and told her that she had made both of them uncomfortable. It sounds to me like she got huffy and she said she was "backing off." My guess is, she doesn't have any plans to be "friends" with him anymore. Time will tell!

Ugh, I hate, hate, hate people who pretend they want friendship when all it really is, is sexual agenda. I think this is going to be a hard lesson for my friend.
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