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Later in this e-mail I am going to copy in my AO's response to my telling him last night (New Years Day 2004) that I liked him more than a friend, to which he replied he really cares for me, but as very close close friends, nothing romantic. My reply was that while I appreciated that he still wantd to remain friends, that I cannot. I told him it's too painful for me to bear the torture of seeing him develop crushes on the many business associates and girlfirends of mine that I introduce him too... That my secret has been a painful thorn in my heart and that now that I know his feelings, I cannot continue to be friends right now. I am confused about his reponse, it seems unreasonably angry... what do you think? Before I copy his e-mail, a little background. (well a lot of background)
I was introduced to him by a female business associate of mine, he was moving to this coast and needed to meet new friends. At first, I only thought of him as a friend, but we started seeing each other every weekend, he began driving in snowstorms to see me, doing numerous favors for me, talking me up to everyone, putting me on a pedastal, he suddenly grabbed me and kissed me on my birthday about 6 weeks ago in mid November, a strong passionate french kiss after a night of him doting on me and dancing. This was before I knew my feelings for him, actually I pushed him away after the kiss went on for a moment, and then I demanded he drive me home. He was very upset and rejected, he told me I was a beautiful girl and that he really liked me, and he just felt compelled to kiss me. I told him that I did not have those feelings for him, but that I wanted to remain friends, but I further added that if he continued to follow me around and dote on me that I was not sure the friendship would work out. But we ended up talking until the wee hours of the morning, and then holding on to each other in my bed. In the morning he seemed dejected. I cuddled him a little and tried to make him laugh, made him breakfast, and then still looking crest-fallen he left. After that I found myself continulally day-dreaming of our kiss, and i found myself wishing that I had not pushed him away.
Our friendship progressed, he still displayed the same sappy behavior. He would buy me little gifts, line up plans for the weekends that required him to sleep over, he acted like a gentelman always offering to sleep in the spare bedroom, to his suprise I let him sleep with me each time, we only cuddled and talked the night away. I got to the point where he was practically living with me, all the while our friends and aquaintances were all talking about our new romance, and I just kept saying, oh no we are just really good friends. He asked to spend Thanksgiving with me, then for Christmas the big invite to meet the parents, still we slept together sans the sex. Then the terrible happened, we were at a party dancing, where as usual I would dance with him once or twice and then peruse the room to find my real love, at one point a very close girfriend asked me if we were together, I told her no, that we are just friends. She proceeded to seduce him and bring him home from the party. He called the next morning at 7AM begging to be picked up. Like a sucker I did. We spent the whole day together and next night talking about how it was just a one night stand for him and that he was not interested in her. I guess that was the day I realized I secretly adored him.
The next work day he forwarded me an e-mail from the girl, in her e-mail she said that she regretted the one night stand, that she felt that even though I had said this man was hands off, that she felt convinced that we should be together. She said she felt terrible that she may have hurt a friend, and that she was not willing to jeopardize her friendship with me. He asked me what I thought about us still being just friends, and I gave him a totally evasive answer. He decided that he would try to maintain just a business relationship with her only, since to his pleasant suprise, she happens to hold a high position at a new york investment bank that his company is targeting as a client, and it just happens to be his account.
So I decided that somewhere over the New Year's week I would unveil my true feelings to him. I began to fantasize about our New Year's Eve together, I built a complete fantasy about how our midnight kiss would be, and how I would tell him my exciting epiphany about my feelings. We slept in his bed the night before New Year's Eve, looking through his old photo albums and sharing stories.
The next morning as my bad luck would have it, the host of the party we were planning on going to came down with the flu. The venue changed to the girl's house with whom he had the one night stand. I was panicked, on the one hand I was afraid to let them see each other again, but on the other I felt that I was going to become his girlfriend at midnight, and I might as well get over their tryst. She was my friend for god's sake, and if I could just tell her I liked him she would back off, right? Anyway, she has subsequently found a new boyfriend, so nothing to fear, right?? Besides, he and I have spent every weekend together between Labor Day up to now, I've been invited to meet the parents, he's showered me with affection, certainly the bond we have built is a stronger platform now for a relationship than the one night stand, right? So I bring him reluctantly to the party. He meets the wonderful new boyfriend, yet somehow I sense my friend is trying to catch my man's gaze. Now I am obsessed, skillfully watching them like hawks without my jealousy being detected.
I end up getting stuck in the kitchen in a conversation with the new boyfriend, I see my man move right in on her. Now I am panicked. The party moves on to a bar, at the bar all of the guests are talking about what a great couple we are, even my trysty girlfriend. So, as the clock strikes midnight, I try to plant my passionate kiss on him and whisper in his ear that I care about him, but before he can hear that he pulls away after just a peck and goes to kiss the other woman. I am devastated. defeated. I feel like he had gotten even with me. Just, then, a hot looking guy who had his eyes on me earlier in the night comes in and tries to kiss me, we start to make out, but my man steps in, and at 270 pounds and 6 feet pulls the new hottie away, the hottie gets mad at me and says, why didn't you just tell me you had a boyfriend here? So the night ended in a double whammy disaster. I get no men, and no kisses.
That night I bring my man back to my house and put him in the spare bedroom. The next morning he goes back to his sappy self, puts me on the phone with his parents, even starts talking about living with me. So I tell him I care about him and that I just can't stand to see him flirt with my friends, that if he cares about me ne needs to tell me, oficially start dating me, and stop flirting with my girlfriend. He agrees to the stop flirting part, but says he only wants me as a friend, and I say get out. This is the longest most painfully drawn out thwarted lover's revenge I have ever fallen victim to. Here is his angry response WHICH I RECEIVED TODAY, TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!
AO'S RESPONSE: (names changed)
Although I suspected this in the last few weeks, I thought maybe I was misreading it, but apparently not.
When I drove away and started to realize what had happened, I was really pissed. And although you have the right to ask me to not pursue friendships with some of the people I met through you, some may be unavoidable... ie: Tom has already called me to offer me tix for a basketball game... I am mature enough to accept and not say, "I can't be friends with you because Cristy broke off the relationship and won't allow it". Amy is a good friend of yours but being that I (and my CEO) are doing a full court press on CSFB, I may run into her... but as I promised, I will not "pursue" relationships with your friends.
The question that comes to mind with me is "what have we been doing for the last several months?" It doesn't seem very fair that you can dictate when a friendship starts and stops with total disregard for me. So you have feelings for me? I understand what you are going through and yet I don't. You are correct, I looked at you as a friend for life, someone I looked up to and respected; a friend and nothing in the romantic way. I looked at you as a beautiful person inside and out. I even tried to look at you romantically but it wasn't there for me. I don't know why. Meanwhile, it appears to me that everything we have done together is bullshit... lies! And clearly if it doesn't fit into Christy's world and way of life, then it doesn't matter. How dare you?! I am pissed and I have a right to be. True friends would not do this to one another. I have watched four weddings of ex-girlfriends, two of which I really adored and yet, I was able to be friends and adjust. It is not fair for me to expect the same from you, but it is fair for me to expect you to be mature and realistic about it. Somehow, I expect that this has occurred before with you in several relationships. All I can say is its time to grow up.
As far as you being the best friend I could ever have had, remember this, "it is in the face of adversity that one realizes one's character" and with this in mind, I don't consider you a best friend or friend at all. You have failed me as a friend. In the future, you should think about this before befriending people... I guess you can just throw them away at will. Again, I won't pursue your friends and won't discuss this with anyone. This is between me and you. However, the one friend I do have that is mutual is Julia. I will NOT discuss it with her, but I am NOT giving her up as a friend even though I am upset with her... and you should NOT let this interfere with decisions about her at work which I am afraid might happen. Julia and I have been friends for over 10 years and we have had our own trials and tribulations... but again, I am NOT giving her up as a friend. I do not want to discuss any further with you. I am angry and as I said, I have a right to be... but this is life and I must accept it as you must accept the byproducts of your actions and decisions.
Comments from Steve-o:
This Adored One's email sounds as if it was written while he was still "hot"; just as we sometimes say things we don't really mean when in an argument, sometimes we write things that we might later regret typing in anger. So, things might not be as bad as they seem here.
It's not entirely clear what, exactly, Cha asked her AO to do, but if she really did ask him to break off contact with other people, he has every right to be upset. Even asking him to change the nature of his other friendships is a huge request, especially when it can be seen as an ultimatum of sorts: "stop flirting with people I know, or I can't be your friend anymore". Friendships, ideally, involve making sacrifices for the other person, but always as a matter of choice, sometimes even unasked for. Being (or even just feeling) coerced into a sacrifice is a different matter.
I wasn't really sure that I could offer any useful advice to Cha, other than trying -- very carefully -- talking to him again after some more time had passed. At least another week. It's important not to make any demands, or anything that could be construed as a demand. Just see if he's willing to talk again.
I nearly destroyed a friendship that was precious to me beyond description with an email that, I thought, was fairly inoccuous. I just wanted to express to her that I felt hurt by something she had done, something which may have even been unintentional. But it struck my AO the wrong way, she said some things to me which were kind of cruel, and I shrunk back. A week later I tried dropping by to try saying 'hello' again, and it went okay. There was tension, and we didn't directly address what had happened, but we started to rebuild our friendship. However, it was never really the same again. In Cha's case, the dispute is much larger than what happened to me. It might not be fixable. But trying, once, is probably okay. I think it's important that she not become an irritant by trying over and over again to reestablish contact. Sometimes people just write each other out of their lives. It feels unfair, I know -- much as Cha's AO said it felt unfair to him that she could decide how his life develops without his own input -- but there's not really a way to fix it.
A few years before Cha wrote to me, one of my best friends broke up with his longtime girlfriend -- a wise decision for both of them, I think, as their relationship seemed to be becoming a burden to them both -- and she subsequently excised him from her life. Although he had wanted to end their relationship, he by no means wanted her to drop entirely out of his life. For several months she refused to even be in the same room as him, even though we had just the one large group of friends who did everything together. It was hard for all of us, but especially the two of them. My friend eventually accepted that he couldn't *make* her talk to him, even though he dearly wanted to still know her. For quite a few years afterwards he would still turn meloncholy when she was brought up in conversation because of how much he still missed her. But there's really nothing to be done about it. She decided not to speak to him, wouldn't budge, and that was that. Even though a friendship can't exist without both people contributing, it can be ended by just one person without the say of the other. And that's because, again, a friendship can't exist without both people contributing. One person stops, and that's the end.
I don't know if what I've written here would be of any use or comfort to Cha (it's adapted from what I said to her in email a few days after she wrote to me), or to others in a similar circumstance, but I hope that it is. I think what needs to be done first here is for her to decide whether she wants to be friends with her AO in the absence of a romance, and also knowing that -- after these events -- the friendship may be different. If the friendship is just doomed to be over, then she needs to find a way to grieve and start recovering. It's sad but true that sometimes these things do just end and there's not neccesarily anything that can be done. Try not to devote an excessive amount of time or effort into fixing the unfixable, as that will just make things worse for everyone involved.
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