Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Need Advice From the Internet

So I have to make a decision this weekend, and I don't really know what to do about it.
This is of course where YOU come in.

The scenario:
I have been friends with D2 since Fall 2001. We went out on one actual date, and did have sex a couple of times over the years, but on the whole: just friends.

The thing is, I have a few fundamental problems with our relationship:
1. I get the sense that he only wants me as a friend on his terms. He wants me to be agreeable to anything he wants to do and not try to sway him.

E.g. In Minneapolis:
D2: We should go to the IHOP for breakfast tomorrow.
Princess: What about Denny's? They have "Moons over my Hammy" I miss that since Denny's left Winnipeg.
D2: We should go to the IHOP.
Princess: What if I don't want to go to IHOP?
D2: Then we have a problem.

2. Whenever he has a girlfriend he both a) vanishes so I only see/hear from him every few months and b) lies to the girlfriend when he does happen to spend time with me.

Let me say this: I am not dumb. I understand that being friends with someone of the opposite sex can occasionally be complicated. Maybe your significant other is the jealous or insecure type. You don't want to totally write them off for this, maybe you want to be sensitive?

However, in 8 years there have been 3 or 4 significant girlfriends and I've never met one of them. I don't even know if they realize that I exist. I guess I won't be invited to the wedding. Cause wouldn't you (the bride) wonder why this other girl is so important to invite if you've never even heard of, or met her in the past x years?

So I haven't seen D2 since March. You see he was in a play and he met a girl. So April & May involved rehearsals, and the rest of the time involved him having a girlfriend.

He is now calling and emailing a lot. He has decreed that we shall get together on Saturday - breakfast, afternoon, evening - whenever works for me.

A couple of months ago I thought about writing him off altogether. 8 years of being his placeholder girl who gets ditched the second a real girl comes along is enough.

But should people really be that expendable?
I mean he is fun and sweet to hang out with. It's not like he's my bff. Why can't I just be acquaintances with him?

This seems the obvious solution: downgrade the friendship to acquaintances. We get together a couple times per year, and that's that.

My dilemma? (This is where YOU come in)
Do I announce such a demotion to him? Discuss my hurt, resignation and ultimate decision?
Most of the time when friends drift, this is kind of a natural occurrence, but that isn't the case here. I suspect he's single again and wants to start hanging out.

I really hate melodrama.
I don't want to get into a big discussion with him about how I've been treated and how it made me feel yadda yadda. It's silly. And girlish.
I've gotten angry with him in the past - especially about the crap like the IHOP situation when we're on holiday together. That's easy: WE set the agenda - not YOU.

But this? I'm just not sure how to handle it with the least amount of girly emotion possible.



Sizzle said...

Oh yeah I have thoughts!

I'm going to blunt and use some tough love so just a warning.

He's using you. We teach people how to treat us. Pay attention to how you are feeling. From what you wrote, you seem to feel bad more than you feel good and powerless in the relationship with him regardless if it is friendship or something more. He continues to come back when he's single knowing that you will provide the "filler" for him. I know his type. I've been you a couple of times in different scenarios with different guys. I had to stop at ask myself what it was that *I* wanted. When I did that and left out all the over-thinking about his feelings, or how he may or may not react, I usually found that I was getting zilch out of the relationship and let it go.

You don't have to announce it but you can back off steadily. I don't see what you're gaining in this except a bad feeling and the occasional hang out session on his terms. Is that fulfilling? I think you deserve much better. Do you?

Karen said...

Maybe I am just too old, but having the discussion that he is hurting your feelings and demoting him just seems silly to me. Don't let him know he has that kind of power in your life.

Just protect yourself and don't let him hurt you.

Anonymous said...

Is he contacting you because his relationship is over or is he still in it?

If he's still in it, then you should demand to meet up with both of them, non-negotiably.

If it's over, that's more difficult. I think you have to communicate that the current terms of the friendship are not working for you. If he refuses to hear you or cooperate with you, then you're done. Period.

harmzie said...

Cut loose. I agree with Sizzle above. I *don't* agree with your comment "maybe your S.O. is jealous or insecure...". There are exceptions obviously, but if you were important enough to him, he wouldn't take that kind of ultimatum from a "just" a girlfriend (since he seems to go through them rather regularly). Plus, lying? Deal breaker.

You deserve better from a friend. Accept it & cut bait.

harmzie said...

I mean, accept that you deserve better, if that wasn't clear! :-)

WendyB said...

Sizzle is right. So is Karen. He's a clear-cut user. Talking to him won't change anything though it might stroke his ego that you care enough to have the discussion. I have known way too many people like this and given them too much power over me. Learn from my mistakes! Just don't have him in your life.

Jade said...

Go back, read over your post like it was one of your best friends writing it. What would you tell them to do?

I have been in this relationship more than once (hangs head in shame). The other posters are right - he's just using you. Sure, he's fun to hang out with; they always are. But if he cared about you or your "friendship" at all, he wouldn't disappear for months on end. Moreover, he is not being respectful of your OR his girlfriends. He's using all of you.

I agree with Karen - please do not feel the need to spare his feelings. He has none invested in you and trust me when I say you are putting WAY more energy into him than vice versa.

I once saw this quote, and it really spoke to me: Never make someone a priority who only makes you an option.

You are only an option to him. So don't make this guy a priority.

Best of luck to you!

Friendly Manitoban said...

You have incredibly smart readers / friends. Listen to what they are telling you and I think you'll find a little voice inside you that's been trying to say the same thing

Sherri said...

I've had "friends" like that, who came to me when they needed me, but if I needed them they had no interest. Then they have needs again, and suddenly they call.

Those relationships left me off-balance, as this one is doing to you, and though it took a while, I did feel empowered and steady once I broke it off.

One question, though: Why does girly/emotional=bad? That's the best thing about girls, that we can articulate our emotions. A guy who is worth anything will accept your emotions, even if he can't articulate his own. It sounds to me like you can't be yourself with this guy.

AmyTree said...

Yup yup yup!!! Agree with all of the above. I wouldn't sit him down and tell him he's being demoted (that seems a bit High School to me) but do what you need to for YOU - back off and set your own boundaries. We're grownups - we don't HAVE to be friends with people who make us feel bad. :-)

Rock Chef said...

I never did get this relationship. His attitude over the IHOP thing would have ended any friendship right there - you can't treat people with that sort of contempt.

You deserve better than this, and all the time you have him floating around you are reducing your chances of finding a good relationship for yourself. I have seen this happening before.

Looks pretty unanimous, anyway - D2 should become D-who?

Aiden Sabine said...

This situation doesn't need an announcement, it needs a declaration. Cut him off quickly. Completely. Amputate him. Cold turkey.

It's pretty obvious that he can't be your lover or boyfriend. You have no future with him, barely a present . . . . this much he has demonstrated.

But, sadly, he can't be your friend, either, for the same reasons. That's because he doesn't hold neither your future nor present in high esteem, and his needs supercede yours. Considering whre this has led you and where it will lead you, it can't be just hanging out.

As long as you're just his option, you will never be his priority. Now which would you rather be?

delmer said...

I suspect the women are going to give better relationship advice than I do.

However, if you do decide to demote him, I think it should come not in the form of an announcement, but a Royal Decree.

Floating Princess said...

I agree with everyone else. Even if he's not thoughtless and selfish on purpose, he's not making an effort to change it either. You deserve better!

Laura said...

You're just his backup girl. You'll do in a pinch, but he doesn't see you as someone he wants a life with. So he ignores you whenever he has someone better, but he calls you whenever he's lonely and bored. Everyone above is right; he's using you.

The only reason to continue seeing him is if you're aware of those things, and you want to see him anyway because you're also bored and he'll do in a pinch. Otherwise I don't see what you're getting out of it.

Josh said...

Ha! You're in quite a pickle. Luckily, the decision on where to go to breakfast might get a lot easier for you.

IHOP has been exposed for cruelty to animals within its supply chain. Check out this undercover footage of its egg supplier:

Good luck with this relationship. They're always too complicated, aren't they?!

Nat said...

Just cut him off... that's what he would do. (And that's what he's done.)

Life is too short for friendships that don't work.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your wise commenters. I'm trying to get over a severe case of Being-Used-itis, and I say, if you can let yourself let go of this relationship, more power to you. It's so hard to walk away, but everyone keeps telling me that it will be worth it in the long run. Good luck!

Nenette AM said...

I TOTALLY agree with Sizzle and everyone else who says you should cut him out. Pronto. Cold turkey. Don't pass GO. Don't collect $200.

And if he asks why, don't give him an explanation. From the way he's been treating you, he doesn't really deserve one.

I've been EXACTLY in your place, and OMG, I'm so glad I cut that guy loose. My life improved immediately after.

Good luck, my dear. Remember, I like you and think you're awesome. Don't let anyone treat you any less than you deserve.

Nenette AM said...

Oh, and I think he's a selfish bastard. Okay, NOW, the end.

Psychgrad said...

Sounds pretty unanimous. Of course, it's easy to say "cut him off" when we have no connection to the guy and hear that he basically treats you like crap.

The friendship is clearly not an equal one -- clearly on his terms. You can't rely on his support -- you know he won't always be there. Most importantly, you don't feel good about the way that he treats you.

So, as fun/sweet as he may be (when he is prepared to spend time with you), it's not a healthy friendship.

As an aside, I know you've talked about feeling lonely before. I think these types of friendship will add to that. Knowing you can't rely on people that feel important to you is pretty isolating.

Lynda said...

They Denny's thing totally made me think of my ex husband.

And I think he is using you too, and I would just not call him back. Sounds like he does the same to you.

Sheila said...

Ugh - I'm so not the person to give advice. I'm totally (and shockingly) non-confrontational most of the time.

But my mini-thought? He's a user and you should dump him.

You don't have to be full on open about it - just don't be available to him. While it's not good to always stick your head in the sand, sometimes it's the only way.

Anonymous said...

Nice job, keep the both thumb up!
I Need Advice

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