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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Emilycox Offline
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Name: Emily
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Friend shunning me - April 23rd 2011, 12:07 AM

There's a guy in my neighbourhood that I've known for about a year. I've always been very attracted to him. We started spending time together and developing what seemed like a close friendship. We would do things together just the two of us and talk to eachother on the phone at least once a week and share some pretty personal things. We treated eachother not so much like buddies but with affection. This went on for a couple of months.

There came a point where things got resolved that he just wanted to be friends. He also said he just had assumed i was not romantically interested in him. I was disappointed but didn't make a fuss about it. It wasn't like i was in love. I just found him attractive and felt compatible with him. I didn't get emotional or ask him for reasons or ask him for anything actually. I just kept it light and friendly and accepted it. He was pretty adamant that he wanted our friendship to continue, that he cared. I said yeah its probably a good idea. I'd like that. Why not? We seemed to have a good friendship going. I certainly cared about him too.

He repeatedly told me that he's my friend and he hoped i would get in touch with him when i was ready. So anyway, it all looks good. But then it got weird. After about a month i saw him and we had a brief chat. It was on the sidewalk in town and not the best place to get caught up. So i emailed him later that day to continue it a little and just be friendly. His response to me was really flat. He wasn't encouaging me at all and just ended with a "see you around". It was not what i was expecting. A few weeks later there was a big fire next to his appartment building and his building was starting to burn. The building was evacuated. I was at home that day and i was worried about his dog being left behind and he not knowing what was happening so i emailed him to tell him about the fire and offer my help if neccesary. He never replied!

Later i saw him in a coffee shop and he just looked down at the table with a dumb look on his face as if he was afraid he might have to talk to me or something. He didn't know that i'd seen him so i just left.

It left me really hurt. I was just being a good friend to him and doing exactly what he had asked me to do. And yet he was already shunning me. It seems so weird. Why do that? Why tell me so emphatically that he's my friend and he wants me to be in touch and then when i do he shuns me? I've never experienced behaviour like that. I always treat my friends well no matter what. What he did to me seems so harsh and pointless. I know there is no friendship between us now so there's nothing to do. But i wish i could understand this sort of behaviour. Is he just being immature?

Last edited by Emilycox; April 23rd 2011 at 12:58 AM.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Friend shunning me - April 23rd 2011, 01:40 AM

Yes, his response has been quite immature. I'm not sure why your friend is acting this way, but I can make a few guesses:

1. He felt awkward after realizing that you liked him as more than a friend. I know that shouldn't be the case, especially when you insisted you were okay with just being friends... but guys (and girls!) can read more into something than is needed. Basically, he could still be under the impression that you like him. As a result, he's avoiding you.

2. This one isn't as likely, but maybe he found a crush/girlfriend and doesn't want you to find out. People do crazy things in order to spare other people's feelings, so he could be avoiding you because he's afraid the truth will come out eventually.

3. He didn't really want to stay friends. Sad, but true. He may have lost ALL interest in you, and it may not have even been for any particular reason. People can be fickle sometimes. When he insisted he wanted to stay friends, that was just his way of "letting you down gently". He probably felt that, by slowly ceasing contact with you (which actually turned out to be rather abrupt from your POV), you wouldn't feel as hurt by the loss of his friendship.

One way to resolve this problem would be to confront him in person and say something along the lines of, "Hey, I don't know what's going on, but I don't like that you're avoiding me. I miss having you as a friend. Can we please talk about this?" Don't even mention the romantic attraction unless he brings it up. If he does, blow it off. Be VERY clear that you're way past that stage and you just want him back as a friend.

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Re: Friend shunning me - April 23rd 2011, 08:20 AM

If his building caught fire, he'd be bummed out about that, especially if his dog wasn't evacuated. I think it's a combination of him having lost all interest in you and being bummed out over something. When you see someone who you've lost interest in, you may speak to them simply out of polite behaviour for them starting a conversation. Since he didn't do that and since his e-mail probably was in a more depressing context, I think there's a good chance he's bummed out over something. At the coffee shop, his building caught fire and his dog may have not been evacuated, so being down about that seems like a common reaction to someone whom you're not sure how to approach.

The alternative is a combination of him liking you, disliking you and having done something, such as getting a girlfriend. He may still like you by knowing that you were fine with him even when the relationship "officially" ended. He may dislike you because after 1 month, he didn't hear from you, didn't like that and out-of-the-blue, you show up wanting to talk. It seems he dislikes you more than he likes you but likes you enough to not fully support his dislike. In that respect, he may be trying to figure out your motivation. I also say he may have gotten a girlfriend or did something because he may be unsure of how to approach you to tell you of his recent relationships while being unsure of his liking toward you.

By factoring in a possible recent relationship he formed, there's a chance that person could be discouraging him from seeing you or he's in the midst of struggling to balance your re-visit with his current relationship.

I think his building catching fire and dog possibly not being evacuated must be considered because it's a traumatic event that affects behaviour. It'd be childish to say it has no bearing.

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Re: Friend shunning me - April 23rd 2011, 02:17 PM

"1. He felt awkward after realizing that you liked him as more than a friend. I know that shouldn't be the case, especially when you insisted you were okay with just being friends... but guys (and girls!) can read more into something than is needed. Basically, he could still be under the impression that you like him. As a result, he's avoiding you."

i think that would prob be the mostlikely reason. cause hating to admit it ive done that and have had that done to me. so i think that is prob the best assumtion. but you should definantly confront him and ask him whats goin on.
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Re: Friend shunning me - April 24th 2011, 09:01 PM

Hmm. I agree with the possibilities Robin came up with. They all seemed to flood to my mind whilst reading your post. Seeing as there is confusion, I think it would be best for you to confront him. You do have a right to know the reason as to why he is flat with you. He is seemingly going through a hard time right now, and maybe is trying to emotionally shut down because it's easier for him. But whatever the reason is, talk to him. I would suggest in person like Robin said, and if you can't get to him in person, then a phone call or an email should suffice. Tell him what you're noticing, and tell him how you're feeling about the sudden hostile behavior that seems to be unwarranted. It really could be a number of things, and if he isn't going to come to you, then you should come to him. OH. Another possibility could be that he is playing the "woe was me" card. You felt for him for more as a friend, so it might be that he is guilt tripping you and trying to make you feel bad. It's a long shot, but totally possible. Take care, <3

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Emilycox Offline
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Re: Friend shunning me - April 24th 2011, 10:26 PM

Thanks for the thoughtful responses to my problem. I don't think I will contact him simply because I've already done it and he didn't care enough to respond. He really doesn't deserve it. I don't give my friendship out like confetti. I will just have to assume that he is not emotionally mature enough to deal with situations like this. Or perhaps that his friendship with me was maybe not as "real" as he made it out to be. Whatever the case, I don't accept behaviour like this, calling me his friend and saying to be in touch and then rejecting me. Good luck to him if he treats his friends like this.
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