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 Post subject: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:04 pm 
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This reason is often used when someone isn't interested. 
Do you think that's a valid concern? 

Can a messy breakup ruin things, so that it's better if they just stayed friends to begin with? 

Or is it just a convenient excuse to say NO without hurting feelings?


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Personally, i think it's baloney.  The oft-quoted phrase "it's better to love and lost than to never love at all" is very true.  No guy ever fears ruining a friendship if he thinks it could develop into something more.  The risk of a messy breakup is a small risk and worth taking.  Or as those forumers with bf's probably know, we would rather do something and mess it up, rather than not do something and wonder if we should have taken some action. 

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:05 pm 
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I think it's a valid concern.  It's one that I've had to wrestle with recently but so far it's working out that I took a jump of faith and went from being a just a friend to someone to being their girlfriend.  I really can't get my thoughts together to write a decent answer.  If you want to PM me I'm willing to "listen."

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:30 pm 
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I think you're right that usually guys will just go for it but not always. It's about timing and if guys think that doing something at that moment is too late or too early they may wait it out or give up and settle for friendship. I say this from the experience of a guy friend being totally in love with me for years (yes, I sound so modest, I know  ;)). He took several more indirect approaches (he dated friends of mine with the hope of making me jealous or would ask me out without spelling out that it was intended as a date, etc...) and never really "went for it" because he ultimately knew deep down that I only liked him as a friend. He never told me how he felt but all my friends knew and eventually it was obvious to me, too. I really think as soon as romantic feelings enter on one or both ends things will be altered anyway. Our friendship always had barriers after I knew about his feelings and at times he and/or I felt awkward.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:44 pm 
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I think this reason could be a genuine one under the following scenario:

- if, you're at the stage in your lives when you want to be in a relationship
- and, you aren't really in love with your friend, but your friend is the perfect guy/girl as far as ideals go
- so you consider dating, then hold out from some higher motive that deep down inside you're really just friends

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:53 am 
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I think it's always a "nice" way a guy tells a girl he's not interested. Always. I think girls consider stuff like this, but if a guy is attracted to a girl and really wants to get with her, he will try. In some way. He will try.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:02 pm 
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a dreamer like Anne wrote:
I think it's a valid concern.  It's one that I've had to wrestle with recently but so far it's working out that I took a jump of faith and went from being a just a friend to someone to being their girlfriend.  I really can't get my thoughts together to write a decent answer.  If you want to PM me I'm willing to "listen."


Interesting.  I'm curious as to what was it that made you jump?  Was it something he said or did, or was it a decision you worked out for yourself?  In other words, in a situation where one is deciding either friends-only or lets-try-something-more, is that decision purely internal or is there anything the friend can do to nudge things along?

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:30 pm 
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Personally, I think the sentence "I don't want to ruin our friendship" really means "I know if we got together it wouldn't last." 


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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:53 pm 
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So guys, you don't believe that a friendship could be ruined because of awkwardness, because of admitted feelings towards one another? You do not think that can happen? Or what are you saying?

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:17 pm 
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i think "i'm afraid to ruin the friendship" translates, realistically, to "i'm not attracted to you enough to bother risking a change."

everyone's different i guess, but for me...if i know that i like a person, i mean really like them, then i'll go for it no matter what.  end of story.  (unless the person is married or dating a friend of mine.)  any of these "i dont want to ruin the friendship" or "i'm just at a place in my life where i need to be single" kind of lines are basically just gentle ways of saying "i'm just not that into you."


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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:45 am 
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Yah, I guess guys feel like since THEY'RE so terrified of rejection, that they think girls are, too, and that they can't tell a girl the truth when they're "just not that into" someone. Girls, I think, handle rejection better. We can be more like, "Well, ok, F you" and move on. Whereas, I think guys are super-sensitive and have PTSD when it comes to rejection.  It's not a way to avoid hurting someone's feelings, because if a girl likes a guy, and she doesn't get to be with him, her feelings are going to be hurt period. I mean. Seriously. Just tell the truth. Because if you don't...karma will eat you...bwahaha.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:36 am 
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kittywampus wrote:
Interesting.  I'm curious as to what was it that made you jump?  Was it something he said or did, or was it a decision you worked out for yourself?  In other words, in a situation where one is deciding either friends-only or lets-try-something-more, is that decision purely internal or is there anything the friend can do to nudge things along?


I certainly wasn't going to take the lead on changing the relationship, but basically how the cards fell is we were just always doing things the two of us and I the only public things we did was go to something for the company he works for, going to an air show, and a Thanksgiving Day high school football game.  He actually sent an e-mail asking if we should be more because he was trying to ask me about it for two months before hand and he could never get it in, but I should have known it was coming because of a few things we did like the company dinner and going to buy him a new suit for it.  To be honest my reaction was to freak out and call my best friend who I told the situation to the month before and if she was in the same room she would have knocked me upside the head because I knew what I had to do.  I had to say yes, I would have been foolish not  to do so.  In accepting a conversation about the two of us I royally messed up when I chatted with him over the phone about the e-mail, but made it up the next day over supper.  We also made a slow transition with some aspects of the relationship between being friends and being a couple.

I also have known him for over 10 years in various capacities in my life, needless to say everyone that knows the two of us are extremely supportive and only have positive things to say, so that helps.  Some did say that we should have been together when I was 19 but that's another story entirely and it would never have had work then with where I was in life and where I was physically most of the year and where he was in life.  Now I just have to grin and bear it when people who've known us for a long time (as in my whole life for me) telling us what a cute couple we make, but I also think some of that is because we only selectively told a few people that we did start dating and others we let the people we told tell them and still others had to figure it out on their own by our actions like sharing a hymnal and holding hands when we were sitting during the service.

Sometimes you just have to go full speed ahead and not worry about the fact that you were friends first.  If things are meant to fall into place they will fall into place.  It might need a gentle nudge along at times from someone whether it be from someone that will be one half of the couple or if a mutual friend gently suggests things.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:40 pm 
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http://www.theonion.com/content/opinion ... _dating_it

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:29 pm 
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oh, so darn true!!!

*bitter*

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:26 pm 
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so the moral of this discussion is, it sucks to be rejected no matter what the excuse is.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:35 am 
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Well yes, of course it stinks to be rejected.  But being told, "I just don't feel a connection" or "you're not my type" or "I don't think it will work out" or even "I don't think of you that way" all have the same effect, but at least those are honest answers.  The ruining a friendship excuse is just.... *grrrr*

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:58 am 
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I'm sorry you got this bad news. If it makes you feel better I was left in friends status with several guys I liked. One also totally led me on and then I found out on my birthday that he was engaged.  :-[ Thanks dude. It is kind of ironic we're having this conversation because Anne sort of does this to Gilbert. I do think sometimes girls really do think they don't want to ruin a friendship. What I mean it is said sometimes with genuine honesty but even if they don't realize it, it is a type of excuse. I think sometimes it just means they're confused. Look at Anne. Anyway, hope things work out.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:53 am 
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Oh no, I didn't mean to say that I got this excuse...at least, not recently.  It was just an issue that came up & i thought it would be topic-worthy.  Because, ya know, i like picking at old wounds.   :-\

Indeed there is an Anne/Gilbert parallel to this, and although we all know there will be a happy ending, we still enjoy how the plot develops.  I, on the other hand, don't really want to suffer through a terrible sickness to get my Anne to come around. 

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:04 am 
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No, not really one for the typhoid fever, huh?  ;)

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:46 am 
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Sometimes no matter what the situation is you have throw caution to the wind.  I think no matter what people who are fearing ruining a friendship should question why they think that.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:16 am 
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I don't understand why many of you guys seem to think it is just an excuse.

I suppose it is an excuse for not telling your friend/person you're in love with, how you feel, but I also think that there is ground to that excuse.
I mean, the friendship could be ruined by it, couldn't it?
Of course, that depends.

But are you saying that it's stupid/wrong not to "go for it", if you really are concerned that the friendship will be ruined by it? Are you of the opinion that that is just a risk that has to be taken, so therefore all "excuses", including "I won't do anything because I'm afraid it'll ruin the friendship" are wrong/stupid?

Or what are you saying, because I don't quite understand what it is exactly that you guys mean, or if I do understand it exactly, I think I look upon it in a different way than you guys do.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:08 pm 
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Anne of Gray Gables wrote:
I don't understand why many of you guys seem to think it is just an excuse.

I suppose it is an excuse for not telling your friend/person you're in love with, how you feel, but I also think that there is ground to that excuse.


We're saying it's an excuse because, 9 times out of 10, when a guy or girl says this to someone who's expressed interest in them, it's a polite way of saying that you're "just not into" that person. It's nicer than saying, "I don't find you attractive" or "Your personality gets on my nerves" or "You don't have a sense of humor" or "You are too immature for words."

Quote:
I mean, the friendship could be ruined by it, couldn't it?
Of course, that depends.


Sure, a friendship could be ruined by a relationship, but if you're really into someone, and you think that that person might like you back, how many people would honestly hold back "for fear of ruining a friendship"? My guess is not many.

Quote:
But are you saying that it's stupid/wrong not to "go for it", if you really are concerned that the friendship will be ruined by it? Are you of the opinion that that is just a risk that has to be taken, so therefore all "excuses", including "I won't do anything because I'm afraid it'll ruin the friendship" are wrong/stupid?


Oh, no. I don't think anyone is saying it's stupid or wrong to "go for it." Most of us feel that any excuse you hear like that from a person you like is that person's way of letting you down easy. It's not wrong or stupid. It's just that most people are pretty compassionate, and there aren't a whole lot of people out there who deliberately want to hurt someone else's feelings, so, most of the time, we feel like coming up with a lame excuse is easier than telling someone the truth.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:55 pm 
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I think what ppl disagree about here is the intention behind saying I don't want to ruin the friendship. I don't think it's always a cop out or excuse or way of letting someone down easily. I think often it is, but not always. I think sometimes it just shows that the friend really means something to the other person and they are truly confused about their feelings. Or, of course, it can be like the chick in the Onion article who just wants to use the guy. BTW, I've known guys who do that to girls they are friends with that they know like them, too. Kitty said that guys will always go for it and would never worry about harming a friendship. I am reminded of something a guy told me once, that guys never really become friends with girls at all. So that would also explain why a guy wouldn't worry about ruining a friendship, too. A guy only becomes with a girl who is a potential date/girlfriend. Or if the "friendship" is like the one in the Onion, a girl to cook and clean for him. I think both men and women play games and use people who they know are attracted to them. I'm not cynical enough to believe that is always the case though.

In my example that I gave where I knew a guy friend was interested over many years I wasn't sure what to do in response. Some suggested I stop being friends with him because it would be better for him to just let me go completely. Of course, by this point we'd been friends for almost 10 years. It's not that easy to just get rid of someone you've been close to, been through things together, have so much history together. But on the other hand, I didn't want him to start reading things into our situation and get led on (which I tried very hard to make sure I didn't do). This is how things got awkward btwn us. I felt like I was walking on eggshells, he felt uncomfortable that I knew about his feelings.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:18 pm 
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I had a good sleep, i don't want to ruin it by getting up.
I had a good weekend, i don't want to ruin it by going to work
I had a good childhood, i don't want to ruin it by growing up
I had a good time in college, i don't want to ruin it by graduating
I had a good bath, i don't want to ruin it by getting dressed

All of those reasons sound foolish, but I think that's similar to what ruining a friendship sounds like.  It's good that one enjoys the current situation, but that situation can't last forever.  You have to go on and live your life, and that means taking chances and doing something.  Things may indeed turn out really bad, but maybe things could turn out really good.  And even if it does end badly, what about the experience.  All my relationships ended, but i'm glad they happened.  

Also, saying that implies that one wants to keep things the way they are; not change anything.  But the problem is that things have already changed, or else it would never have been brought up.  When someone is interested, it's very hard to un-interest.  

It's not wrong or stupid to want a good thing to stay the same.  As an example, there are many Sundays where i don't want the work week to start.  But i know it has to happen, I can't hold it back.  So i just have to accept that, and be open to the possibility that maybe Monday will be wonderful, and Tuesday even better.  

I am always hopeful.  

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:31 pm 
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Oh, I thought you were talking about if "fear of ruining the friendship" was an excuse for someone not to admit their feelings to another person, and not letting someone who just admitted their feelings towards one, down.

Thanks for answering, guys.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:50 am 
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kittywampus wrote:
I had a good sleep, i don't want to ruin it by getting up.


I think that's a good analogy.  And some people are just bad at accepting things for what they are.  I for one would infinitely prefer to sleep in as long as I can, until someone or something (or duty) literally dragged me out of bed.  If left to my own devices I wouldn't get up.  And that's the way some people are:  if they aren't forced to open their eyes to their feelings, it's much easier to stay in the comfort zone of being friends.

Yes, "let's just be friends" is a banal excuse, but like the boy who cried wolf there will be truth in it the 1 time out of ten.  I'm not cynical enough to believe it should always be dismissed as b*llsh*t, though.  I guess your instincts should tell you whether the person is lying or whether it's a genuine concern.

I also think there are different ways of loving:  there's love when you're passionately attracted to someone, so mainly lust, and it's difficult to deny your feelings and hold back.  there's the kind of love that grows out of friendship and admiration, and I really think there's more at stake here, that "not wanting to ruin the friendship" is a very valid excuse.  i've been in love people who i think are attractive, and those are the people whom i've never really shared a platonic friendship with.  (and this isn't necessarily just i-can't-hold-myself-back-lust, but friendship develops along with the attraction).  but i've also been in love with people who i don't find attractive, who i consider no more than a friend, but whom i would consider going out with because i know we'd get along extremely well.  i guess you can say that, in the latter case, that's not love, but who's to say love can't grow out of a solid friendship, between friends with similar tastes?

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:27 pm 
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well, i am definitely going to ruin a friendship, albeit slowly.  wish me luck!

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Good luck, lol.  :)

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:01 pm 
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kittywampus wrote:
well, i am definitely going to ruin a friendship, albeit slowly.  wish me luck!


Good Luck!

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:19 am 
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Kitty, just to give you some encouragement, my bf and I just made it to our sort of one year anniversary yesterday, with the hopes of many more.  Going from just friends to bf/gf can work out.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:21 pm 
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kittywampus wrote:
Also, saying that implies that one wants to keep things the way they are; not change anything.  But the problem is that things have already changed, or else it would never have been brought up.  When someone is interested, it's very hard to un-interest.  


I totally agree with this and a lot of other points in this topic already. I think that everybody has been through ^ that phase.



As for me, I did also take a jump towards the end last year with a guy that has been my friend for four years now and who I inevitably ended up liking. A lot. There were a lot of rumors going around and everything so I decided on my own to just do something. My main reason for my decision was basically "if I don't do something now, I'll always wonder for years to come what might've happened if I did do something back then and I would always regret not doing anything when I could." Even though I'm just a teen, I think that really influenced too much my decision to tell the boy that I liked him because I was really secure in our friendship and I knew that even if he didn't feel the same, he would still be as great a friend to me as ever. My point is, I think that certain types of people just have to take a risk and try because they'll end up wondering what would've happened if they had.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:23 pm 
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Personally I say if you "go for it" knowing it will fail...and not only fail...but rival the ending of the world as we know it--it's STOOPID (as in beyond just plain stupid) to go for it and you should say NO WAY!  Because honestly, that's just as smart as taking a gun, loading it with bullets, aiming it at your foot, and firing away at your toes wondering why you're suddenly in pain.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:36 pm 
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well, i've witnessed that when someone really likes someone, they may not want to jump into a relationship.  it's not just hesitation, there's an element of respect for the person and the friendship.

i have a friend who really likes this guy, and the guy really likes her.  they've been friends for a long time.  she broke up with her boyfriend recently, so the guy's never made moves until now.  however, she's choosing to stay friends with him partly because she needs to stay single for a while, partly because she's moving out of the country soon.  in her words, a relationship at this time would turn the friendship "into a cheap fling."  instead, they're both enjoying being in like, as opposed to the entailments of a real relationship.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:17 pm 
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Bets wrote:
i have a friend who really likes this guy, and the guy really likes her.  they've been friends for a long time.  she broke up with her boyfriend recently, so the guy's never made moves until now.  however, she's choosing to stay friends with him partly because she needs to stay single for a while, partly because she's moving out of the country soon.  in her words, a relationship at this time would turn the friendship "into a cheap fling."  instead, they're both enjoying being in like, as opposed to the entailments of a real relationship.


how is that sustainable though? seems like the tension would be way too much to handle.


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 Post subject: Re: the fear of "ruining a friendship"
PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:23 pm 
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It's been awhile since I read  this thread and decided to review again  all the way though. Good points on boths sides of the question and it brought back some interesting memories when i have been  both the giver and recipeint of that oft said  "rationalzation".  It made me wonder:  If I was in that situation again, would i come right out and say what was on my mind this time?  Probably  so but I would still  try to be tactful  and understanding.

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 Post subject: Re: the fear of
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:52 pm 
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I actually wonder if "most guys" are just better at jumping in in general. Not just with relationships, but with a "I'll try something, make mistakes and I'll fail or if I'm lucky it'll work out" attitude in life. That's just based on a few guys I know/am close to, including ones I've dated, who seem to take risks in life based on gut feeling.

Girls... at least certain kinds of girls, the "Anne" kind, are more cautious or need more time to figure out their own feelings. I think some of the things I relate to most about Anne is that she has ideals and expectations that she has to come to terms with, and has to grow through different experiences in life before she realizes her own feelings for Gilbert. It wasn't about "I'm attracted to you/not attracted to you," it was about her learning life lessons and realizing what she valued in a friendship, or for that matter in relationships with people (i.e. Gilbert's sacrifice after Matthew's death made her realize he had genuinely good intentions, which made them friends in the first place.) If Anne had just been attracted to Gilbert the day she broke a slate over his head, (we wouldn't have a story) and I think it would have been a more shallow relationship.


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 Post subject: Re: Re: the fear of
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:15 am 
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Yeah, it's funny because Anne is very impulsive about other things but is very careful with her heart. I think that's because she's smart. Girls are wise to be cautious in my experience. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Re: the fear of
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:27 am 
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I was thinking the same thing, Hannikan. I was thinking of Marilla's quote to Anne in the second movie: "Though you do do things in a dreadful head-longed fashion." With love, Anne was almost the opposite, having a very narrow vision of what it would be, and rejecting anybody (eg. Gilbert) who did not fit it.

I do think more guys than girls are able to take risks with less worry, able to shrug and move on, but not all guys are like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Re: the fear of
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:43 am 
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Yeah, I do think guys are socialized to take more risks and girls are socialized not to. Guys who don't take visible risks are often derided for being wimpy. And then there's the fact that girls are socialized to choose carefully one male who will be reliable to settle down and procreate with, while boys are socialized to spread themselves out more before that settling down. And the latter fuels the former to be more so.

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 Post subject: Re: Re: the fear of
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:38 am 
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That's a really good point about Anne being headstrong, but the opposite when it comes to love.

Rereadung Anne of the Island, I think you really *can* ruin a friendship by trying to pursue a relationship at the wrong time:
Quote:
Gilbert, too, was in full chase after a scholarship, but found plenty of time for frequent calls at Thirty-eight, St. John's. He was Anne's escort at nearly all the college affairs, and she knew that their names were coupled in Redmond gossip. Anne raged over this but was helpless; she could not cast an old friend like Gilbert aside, especially when he had grown suddenly wise and wary, as behooved him in the dangerous proximity of more than one Redmond youth who would gladly have taken his place by the side of the slender, red-haired coed, whose gray eyes were as alluring as stars of evening. Anne was never attended by the crowd of willing victims who hovered around Philippa's conquering march through her Freshman year; but there was a lanky, brainy Freshie, a jolly, little, round Sophomore, and a tall, learned Junior who all liked to call at Thirty-eight, St. John's, and talk over 'ologies and 'isms, as well as lighter subjects, with Anne, in the becushioned parlor of that domicile. Gilbert did not love any of them, and he was exceedingly careful to give none of them the advantage over him by any untimely display of his real feelings Anne-ward. To her he had become again the boy-comrade of Avonlea days, and as such could hold his own against any smitten swain who had so far entered the lists against him. As a companion, Anne honestly acknowledged nobody could be so satisfactory as Gilbert; she was very glad, so she told herself, that he had evidently dropped all nonsensical ideas—though she spent considerable time secretly wondering why.


Gilbert was wise in not pressuring Anne by showing her he was in love with her, unlike all the other suitors. I guess it's because romance comes with expectations (a commitment to being a unit and devoting time to each other) that friendship doesn't demand. For some kinds of people, you can't just date someone, you have to be ready for it. Gilbert was wise to be patient and respectful of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Re: the fear of
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:58 am 
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Yeah, he was wise to wait. She was wise to be careful with him when they met and he was kind of a player. Later on, his previous behavior had made her blind to the fact that he really only had eyes for her. And she was also harboring misguided standards of her "perfect man", too.

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