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Mirroring [UPDATED]


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6 minutes ago, Alpacalia said:

Thanks basil67.

I don't have many male friendships. With the exception of one I met when I was eight years old who has been like a brother to me and another from my twenties that developed feelings towards me (which thankfully, our friendship survived). That's been great and I specifically prefer it that way (not to have many male friends) and this guy, aside from the few comments he's made, felt the same.

But lately I've noticed that he's started making comments about us having a deeper connection than just friends. At first, I brushed it off as a joke, but as it's continued, it's making me feel uncomfortable and questioning whether a friendship is feasible.

I'd love it to be possible, too. I think for this to happen, both sides need a very high level of awareness and even then... I'm not sure. For now I'm single and trying to just focus 100% on my friendships. It's hard sometimes because strangers immediately assume stuff but eh... 

Once his feelings train has left his station, there's no going back.  He knows how you feel, but is desperately hoping that you change your mind. 

I think that self awareness can stop us doing stupid stuff, but I don't think it can make his feelings go away.  I'm sorry

 

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Alpacalia
3 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

It seems like you are trying to "be friends" (but can't predict how you'll feel?) But somehow this already seems more like frenemies.

Yes men and women can absolutely be friends but alas this doesn't seem to be one of those situations.

Not so much that he may have had some interest in the past but moreso you actually don't seem to even like or respect him all that much. 

Because I say he's made some comments that made me feel uncomfortable that you equate to me not respecting him?

I may have come across as hesitant about being friends with him, but that's only because I am unsure of our dynamic. I believe men and women can definitely have platonic friendships, but I also recognize that in this particular situation, there may be underlying tension that could make our friendship difficult. However, I do appreciate his positive qualities and admire his ambition and kind nature. I think I've said as much.

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Alpacalia
25 minutes ago, basil67 said:

Once his feelings train has left his station, there's no going back.  He knows how you feel, but is desperately hoping that you change your mind. 

I think that self awareness can stop us doing stupid stuff, but I don't think it can make his feelings go away.  I'm sorry

 

That's a big part of it too. When I put myself aside feeling uncomfortable by the thought of that, albeit I appreciate that he has those feelings, the last thing I want to do is cause him any feelings of discomfort. I do have fondness for him, just not romantic at this time.

Edited by Alpacalia
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NuevoYorko
2 hours ago, basil67 said:

I'd love for friendships between men and women to be a thing, but in my experience, someone always ends up catches feelings.   

Believe it or not, I think that even if someone has "feelings" a friendship is still possible.  I have one close opposite sex friend of over 30 years which started off as unrequited love.  

Sometimes if one can find people of their "tribe," it's worth putting the category of feelings aside to keep them in ones life for the long haul.  At least for me.  And it's not uncommon among  other members of that particular friend group from days long gone by.

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17 minutes ago, NuevoYorko said:

Believe it or not, I think that even if someone has "feelings" a friendship is still possible.  I have one close opposite sex friend of over 30 years which started off as unrequited love.  

Sometimes if one can find people of their "tribe," it's worth putting the category of feelings aside to keep them in ones life for the long haul.  At least for me.  And it's not uncommon among  other members of that particular friend group from days long gone by.

I guess we're all responding with reference to our own experiences.  I think I'd need a few year break to be able be friends with someone I had feelings for

Edited by basil67
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introverted1

I think the very fact that this topic was put in the Dating forum says something, as does the fact that you "offer" to pay, which implies you let him pay.  I don't know your dynamic with friends but, for the most part, my friends do not pay my way. You also mention that he takes the lead to make (or ask about plans) and this is also a dynamic that I associate with dating, and perhaps he does, too. 

On 2/7/2024 at 9:14 PM, Alpacalia said:

I suggested this Thursday after he asked me out

Again, language that suggests dating, not friendship. 

If you're going to keep seeing him, I think you need to make it abundantly clear through words and actions that this is a friendship, not a dating situation.  

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Alpacalia
50 minutes ago, introverted1 said:

I think the very fact that this topic was put in the Dating forum says something, as does the fact that you "offer" to pay, which implies you let him pay.  I don't know your dynamic with friends but, for the most part, my friends do not pay my way. You also mention that he takes the lead to make (or ask about plans) and this is also a dynamic that I associate with dating, and perhaps he does, too. 

Again, language that suggests dating, not friendship. 

If you're going to keep seeing him, I think you need to make it abundantly clear through words and actions that this is a friendship, not a dating situation.  

Thanks!

My friends and I have taken turns paying for each other or one of us will pick up the tab for whatever activity we do, but it's never about someone taking the lead in planning and paying for all the outings. It's more of a mutual decision/mutual paying situation.

But I think you're right in this specific situation that him paying does blur the lines. I declined him paying for an event we went to and we each paid our own way. I think if we were to hang out again that I just restate we need to each pay 50%. And I truthfully don't mind picking up the entire tab but he's declined when I tried. Oh, and this topic was moved by the mods, I didn't move it there.

And yes, I need to be very careful with my language.

I thought, after the first time we 'went out' that when I said to him, I am not interested in romantic dating but if you're open to friendship, I would like that very much, but if not, that I 100% understand. He said he was fine with it and that's what he wanted too so, I took that as it was fine.

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Alpacalia
4 minutes ago, NuevoYorko said:

I'm curious about why you chose to put this in the "dating" section.

I did not move it to "Cheating, Flirting, and Jealousy."

Mods: can you please move this to friendship? Thank you.

Edited by Alpacalia
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22 hours ago, Alpacalia said:

I do have fondness for him, just not romantic at this time.

I think your handling this ok- its a delicate one,

Im not saying this is every guys perspective- but I can relate to the idea of accepting a friendship (even if secretly I want more) -it is something for someone to have a fondness for me even if that is not romantic,

you could mildly suggest helping him with finding someone else through getting him set up with online dating or even introducing him to some acquaintance,

that way your making clear you are not the one- but you are his friend,

 

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Alpacalia
28 minutes ago, Foxhall said:

I think your handling this ok- its a delicate one,

Im not saying this is every guys perspective- but I can relate to the idea of accepting a friendship (even if secretly I want more) -it is something for someone to have a fondness for me even if that is not romantic,

you could mildly suggest helping him with finding someone else through getting him set up with online dating or even introducing him to some acquaintance,

that way your making clear you are not the one- but you are his friend,

Yeah that's an idea. I can show him how to make jewelry (I like to make rings and bracelets) and maybe he could give that as gifts :)

He does a lot of speaking conferences for motivational and leadership seminars. He shares with me certain things that are difficult for him so I try to give him support and what words of advice or wisdom I can and he really seems to appreciate it.

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Weezy1973
23 hours ago, Alpacalia said:

I thought, after the first time we 'went out' that when I said to him, I am not interested in romantic dating but if you're open to friendship, I would like that very much, but if not, that I 100% understand. He said he was fine with it and that's what he wanted too so, I took that as it was fine.

And when he told you you were “lovely and pretty” and said he felt a romantic connection, did you think honestly he was still fine with just friendship?

I’ve just read through the thread again and I feel like you’re being dishonest with us or with yourself here. You may have said the above, but your actions with this guy have been very “date like”. And you’ve left open the possibility of having romantic feelings for him in the future.
 

Have you cut things off with him completely at this point as you said you would? You’ve said you’re not interested in romantic dating, but unless you’ve told him explicitly you don’t see him romantically he likely is happy to continue “dating” until you are ready to date romantically again, in which case he’ll be there! 

There’s a big difference between telling someone you’re not interested in dating at this time, vs telling someone you’re not attracted to them in that way and just see them as a friend. Regardless he’s made it clear that he is attracted to you and feels a romantic connection. At this point, unless you do see yourself dating this guy, probably best to just stop seeing him altogether. Let him find someone that is ready to date.

 

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Alpacalia
40 minutes ago, Weezy1973 said:

And when he told you you were “lovely and pretty” and said he felt a romantic connection, did you think honestly he was still fine with just friendship?

I’ve just read through the thread again and I feel like you’re being dishonest with us or with yourself here. You may have said the above, but your actions with this guy have been very “date like”. And you’ve left open the possibility of having romantic feelings for him in the future.
 

Have you cut things off with him completely at this point as you said you would? You’ve said you’re not interested in romantic dating, but unless you’ve told him explicitly you don’t see him romantically he likely is happy to continue “dating” until you are ready to date romantically again, in which case he’ll be there! 

There’s a big difference between telling someone you’re not interested in dating at this time, vs telling someone you’re not attracted to them in that way and just see them as a friend. Regardless he’s made it clear that he is attracted to you and feels a romantic connection. At this point, unless you do see yourself dating this guy, probably best to just stop seeing him altogether. Let him find someone that is ready to date.

Thanks for your insight. It seems this guy has started to develop feelings for me, thinking I might change my mind eventually.

Regarding your comment about my actions appearing "date-like," I genuinely find this confusing.

Some of our interactions have been in group settings, with a few exceptions. I've made an effort to maintain a platonic atmosphere by not engaging in romantic conversations, flirting, or giving romantic compliments. I've insisted on paying my share during our outings. He paid the last time, so I said next time 'I pay.' 

Although I understand that our perspectives may differ, I want to clarify that I have not had any discussions with this person about emotions, feelings, or relationships. The only mention of any romantic connection came from him during our initial coffee meet, which he said he felt initially when he first met me. We met long before our first coffee meet.

I made it clear following our first coffee meet that I did not reciprocate those feelings, but that I still valued our potential friendship. His comment about me being "lovely and pretty" was made AFTER my initial posting of this thread.

I really feel like I am being made to be disingenuous here. So I'm really curious on what actions I have done other than hanging out with him. If anything, me saying to him that my interest in him is friendship and him continuing to do so despite knowing is disingenuous because following our coffee meet everything was clear and he said it was fine. 

I can't say to him, hey, I am open to romantic feelings developing in the future, because that would be giving him false hope, no?

I don't message him other than to plan something or in response to him reaching out or if he sends me like a meme or something. I don't talk to him in a romantic way. I feel like I am being penalized for his actions and feelings or that I am a terrible person for making friends with people of the opposite sex. I have no control over how others interpret my actions, but I can only control my own behavior and intentions. 

We our scheduled a meet next Monday and I haven't decided if I should still go and address this then or cancel altogether.

Edited by Alpacalia
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Weezy1973
37 minutes ago, Alpacalia said:

I feel like I am being penalized for his actions and feelings or that I am a terrible person for making friends with people of the opposite sex.

Please go back and read your posts. You are quite ambiguous as to whether or not these were dates, and left open the possibility of romance. You mentioned not being “head over heels” about him, but that is far different from not finding him attractive or seeing potential for romance. Again, you’ve acknowledged how it’s confusing. Of course you’re not responsible for his feelings, but I’m also sure you can understand how he could interpret this as “friends first and let’s see what happens” rather than “friends only and nothing more ever”. And you seem to be bouncing back and forth as well. Again just go back and read your own posts. Even the whole discussion of “mirroring” only makes sense in a dating context. His texts and your reactions to them makes sense if he’s seeing this as a potential romance. 
 

And you’re not a terrible person. In my mind this whole this is a reaction to your breakup. Your ex decided he’d rather move to Europe than stay with you. Perhaps you felt rejected and interacting with a man that was clearly attracted to you gives your confidence a boost. And being able to be in control and “reject” him maybe is comforting in some way when your life has been quite out of your control lately. 

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14 hours ago, Alpacalia said:

I can show him how to make jewelry (I like to make rings and bracelets)

Well done- this is not the easiest thing to do- I know someone with a similar hobby,

An interesting lady you are no doubt- 

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Alpacalia
10 hours ago, Weezy1973 said:

Please go back and read your posts. You are quite ambiguous as to whether or not these were dates, and left open the possibility of romance. You mentioned not being “head over heels” about him, but that is far different from not finding him attractive or seeing potential for romance. Again, you’ve acknowledged how it’s confusing. Of course you’re not responsible for his feelings, but I’m also sure you can understand how he could interpret this as “friends first and let’s see what happens” rather than “friends only and nothing more ever”. And you seem to be bouncing back and forth as well. Again just go back and read your own posts. Even the whole discussion of “mirroring” only makes sense in a dating context. His texts and your reactions to them makes sense if he’s seeing this as a potential romance. 
 

And you’re not a terrible person. In my mind this whole this is a reaction to your breakup. Your ex decided he’d rather move to Europe than stay with you. Perhaps you felt rejected and interacting with a man that was clearly attracted to you gives your confidence a boost. And being able to be in control and “reject” him maybe is comforting in some way when your life has been quite out of your control lately. 

Sorry, I don't agree with you. I've had three men show interest in me since my breakup and I've straight up and politely declined because I felt I wasn't at that place to start dating again and because I want to give myself time and not rush into anything. So I don't particularly understand your analysis. Even if I do find him attractive, that doesn't necessarily make him attractive to me romantically. 

As for using the term "mirroring," I simply meant to say that when I gave him my availability, he seemed to match it on the days he offered to hang out. I have picked up on potential signs of romantic interest from him, so I wanted to directly ask if that was the case.

My ex specifically asked me to come with him and offered not to go, I respectfully declined because I am needed here for my father and because I am not ready to uproot my life to follow him to Europe. I've tried my best to be clear that I am just looking for a friend. But thank you for your time in reading all of my posts and offering your perspective. It's been helpful.

If you're not going to offer advice on how to navigate this friendship, please refrain from making assumptions about my intentions and feelings.

Edited by Alpacalia
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Maybe this is part of the confusion. "Mirroring". Perhaps if the thread was a titled "Scheduling issues with new friend", it could have cleared up a lot of the odd terminology including "date", "asked me out", etc. This is the actual definition of mirroring and it has nothing to do with your or his availability or that he's free when you weren't etc. 

Mirroring is the behavior in which one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitude of another. Mirroring often occurs in social situations, particularly in the company of close friends or family, often going unnoticed by both parties. The concept often affects other individuals' notions about the individual that is exhibiting mirroring behaviors, which can lead to the individual building rapport with others.

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Alpacalia

Continuation of this thread:

Mirroring - Cheating, Flirting, and Jealousy - LoveShack.org

I decided to stick with meeting with him this Monday.

I wanted to broach the topic with him directly instead of my usual avoidance tendencies.

I reached out to him on Friday to confirm Monday, he said he would let me know shortly as he might have to do something else and so he would let me know shortly. Today is Sunday, I didn't hear back, so I reached out and said that I went ahead and scheduled an interview for the next morning so we'd have to do it another time.

He apologized for not getting back to me saying he was busy, which is fine. Anyway, thanks for the help peepies!

Edited by Alpacalia
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Alpacalia

Okay so he just said "Hey, I just wanna be clear so that I know how to view and ultimately how to "govern" myself lol accordingly. I get the feeling you're just looking for friends, yeah?"

I replied that yes, I am just looking for friends and not interested in pursuing anything romantic. He said "no worries, thanks for being honest."

So I am not sure if this concludes the end of our friendship or if he is still open to being friends. Either way, I made it clear that I am not interested in anything more and that is all that matters to me. If he is not okay with being friends after this conversation, then it is his decision and I respect that. 

I got that feeling that he may be a little disappointed, but he also seemed understanding. Hopefully we can continue being friends, but if not, it's okay. I am just happy that we are on the same page now. It's always important to communicate clearly and honestly in any relationship or potential relationship, and I am glad we were able to do that.

So yeah, that's pretty much it. Just two friends on the same page. No hard feelings, just mutual respect.

Edited by Alpacalia
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Weezy1973
1 hour ago, Alpacalia said:

So yeah, that's pretty much it. Just two friends on the same page. No hard feelings, just mutual respect.

And do you think he’s magically turned off his attraction towards you? Do you genuinely believe he can suddenly only see you as a friend?

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Its good he brought it up. Perhaps it clears the air about expectations and scheduling priorities. The ball is sort of in his court now that he clarified things. 

"I get the feeling you're just looking for friends, yeah?" He said "no worries, thanks for being honest".

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Alpacalia

Several years ago, we went on one date and afterwards I expressed that I didn't have romantic feelings for him. We didn't speak for a few years until I commented on a positive post on his social media feed. He has had a very tough life and I always admired his tenacity and work ethic. He responds with private message and a few days of messaging, we caught up on each other's lives.

However, the conversations took a turn after a few weeks when he started with comments on the romantic side. This made me feel like I needed to address the situation. I planned on broaching it with him on Monday, but he left me hanging on Friday when I reached out to confirm a time and place. He then brought up the topic himself and I responded in kind.

It's possible that we may both stop talking to each other after this, and that's okay.

While I may have had doubts about bringing up the topic a 2nd time, I knew it was something that needed to be addressed. Despite the outcome, I genuinely enjoyed reconnecting with him and hearing about his life. It reminded me of why I admired him in the first place and it was nice to see that he was doing well. But at the end of the day, I needed to prioritize my own feelings. 

I am grateful for the time we shared, but I know that it's time for us to move on. If he reaches out then I will cross that bridge when we get there, but for now I am content with the closure of addressing the topic.

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thats good, you will feel happier in the chest or in the soul I do say , when getting something cleared that was on your mind.

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Id like to raise another point on this,

I believe the thread relates to an interesting question on the laws of attraction,

From a guys perspective it is pretty easy for me to know what attracts a man to a woman,

 for example I am thinking that any man who encounters @ alcapalia,  well would be keen( outwardly or secretly) to go on a date with her,

It is less clear to me obviously what attracts a woman to a man,

Why did she not feel any romantic connection towards this gentleman (not expecting you to answer by the way)

Does it come down to specific feelings or can attraction be linked to circumstances at the time ,

I would'nt mind reading that book recommended by the poster @markclemson, on a few threads,  at some point,

anyway just my rambling for today.

 

 

 

 

 

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Alpacalia

I found him attractive, but I did not feel romantic about him.

Also something did not gel for me when I initially met him, maybe it was the circumstances. Or I just was not feeling it. Don't know. There were a couple things that raised a discerning eyebrow for me so perhaps that always stuck in the back of my mind and prevented that romantic connection from developing.

It is difficult to say for sure why attraction didn't develop in that particular situation.  As I was writing the posts, I realized that the responses to the original question in this thread may be different for different people. In other words, what attracts me to a person may not actually attract someone else to a person. And that it may even change for me over my lifetime, depending on the circumstances.

Sometimes we can't even explain why we are attracted to someone, it just happens.

Edited by Alpacalia
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