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Wednesday, October 01, 2008:
Why can't we just be friends???

I've known my friend Mike for about 14 years now, and in all that time, he's been married with kids. We're not super-close friends; we don't hang out often, and we only occasionally talk on the phone. What I like about Mike is that he's the kinda guy you can joke around with and not have to worry about hurting his feelings or any big misunderstanding. Because I have a sarcastic sense of humor, I can razz him and he gives it right back. I can call him a pain in the ass and he'll agree with me. Life was good.
Then a couple years ago, he started to get weird. He'd call me at work a few times a day for no reason, or he'd want to meet for lunch in 10 minutes, which I can't just do anyway. Once I went to lunch with him and he hardly even talked to me and then had to leave. Like I said, weird. He would come see me at my then p/t job. He's never come out and said anything, or we've never been touchy-feely, but it felt, well, weird. Then things kinda went back to normal for awhile, and I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking it was some freaky blip that finally righted itself. Life was good again.
But the guy is freaking out on my again. He's calling me at work or stopping by my office a few times a day, and my co-workers have been teasing me that he "likes" me, which I didn't want to hear. Geez, he'd better not. And just last week he tells me I make him nervous. What? Me? Come on. For anyone who's met me, I'm not that intimidating, and there's no good reason I should make him nervous. This is not good. Now it's freaking me out. So much so that I'm talking about it on my blog.
So I agreed to meet him at Applebee's after work on Friday, and I'm not looking forward to it. I think I need to clear the air and find out what's going on, but I don't want to know. I want to go back to how things were. When they were normal. And uncomplicated. AND unweird.
I'm absolutely positive I've never given him mixed signals. Like I said, we're not touchy-feely. I don't hug him or touch him in any way. I don't flirt with him, and as far as I can tell I've never crossed any line I shouldn't. All I know is that this has been bothering me for days and I just want to forget about it.
I know, I sound like I'm about twelve. Do you think I'm overreacting here? I'm horrible at reading signals, that's for sure, but something's going on. I am dreading seeing him. My instincts are screaming "danger, danger". What if he does have feelings for me? OMG. Do I end our friendship? I don't want to, because when he's not acting this way we have a lot of fun and I like being around him. Why can't things be normal again?
Any advice?

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  1. Well, not being in the situation it's easy for me to say that maybe you should talk to him. I wouldn't stop being friends with him because he has feelings for you. You can't control that, but you might want to take a step back for awhile. Know what I mean.

    I'm probably not making any sense. I haven't had much coffee yet today and am running off of way too little sleep.

  2. Definitely a pickle. I would say talk to him. Find out what's going on. If he is married and has feelings for you. That can never end up any place good. Taking a break in the friendship maybe called for. Who knows maybe it's some completely other weird thing. Hope you'll keep us updated.

  3. Ugh. Find out the problem first. Maybe he wants to talk about something that is hard for him. But if he's married and you aren't interested and he is, leave him in no doubt. I've had guys follow me for months (before I met my DH) and even though I told them I didn't want a relationship other than friends (in a group) they still blamed me for leading them on. Some men have their heads in their backsides and being nice backfires. Oops on the imagery.

  4. Definitely talk to him about it. It may be some other aspect of his life and he needs someone to talk to. He could be feeling weird that he wants to talk about it with you, that it may be more serious a topic than you normally discuss. You won't know until you ask. Trust me, it is better to ask and know than to sit and wonder... even if it does turn out in a way that is not desirable.

  5. Oh...I've had this sort of thing happen to me. I was buddies with a guy who was married with kids. Not even remotely attracted to him, but we'd chat during lunch or whatever. Went out to lunch with him after I lost my job, but it was always with the knowledge that he was just my buddy.

    And then he calls me up, out of the blue, to tell me that not only is he divorced, but he's interested in going out with me. Ack! I very politely told him I wasn't interested at pursuing him at all and that I thought it was best if we just cut ties then and there.

    He still emails me once in a blue moon, but I ignore them. In situations like this, it's best to be up front and just tell him you'd like to just back off and not have anything to do with all. No friends or anything. Even if you don't think so, he might look at is an encouragement. Just a thought. :)

  6. Dev, I'm definitely planning on talking to him. I haven't seen him or heard from him since last Friday, so it's given me time to think of what I want to say.

    Mollie, I'll definitely keep you posted. After blogging about it, it's made me feel better about things instead of just bottling them up and trying to ignore what's going on. I hope we can resolve this.

    Toni, I'm really hoping he just needs someone to talk to and that it's nothing more. I've thought about my behavior and though I don't think I've done anything to encourage him, I don't know how he sees it. We'll see.

    Shannon, now that I've decided to talk to him, I just want to get it over with LOL. But he's been out of town this week. I called him yesterday to find out if we're still meeting for dinner (which I'm paying for my own, btw) and he never called me back. If he blows me off I will smack him.

    Bridget, wow. That's something. I don't know how Mike's marriage is; he's never alluded to any problems, but he doesn't talk much about his family. I'm just hoping it's not that drastic.

    Thank you all for your comments. I didn't realize that I really needed to talk about it with other people instead of just dealing with it on my own. Since talking to some of my friends who know him, they seem to think he does have feelings for me and agree we need to talk. Yeah, a guy's favorite phrase - "we need to talk". Oy.

  7. Is he still married? Cause wow if he is, that can never end well. I'd say talk to him, find out what's up and then make sure he knows what's up on your side of things and I agree with everyone else, a time out may be the right thing after you find out what's up.

    *Hugs* and Good Luck!

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