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Dated briefly then 7 years as best friends. Suddenly heartbroken.

Friends and Lovers Progressing into "Friends with benefits" and beyond: When platonic relationships become more intimate.

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Old 5th March 2018, 2:36 PM   #16
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 13
ES, This is something I've been thinking about lately. My ex was definitely a manic pixie type and as you said the drama and chaos eventually was too much. However I'm a bit on the shy and introspective side myself and often have some anxiety about rejection and approaching and pursing women. Usually I find myself nervous about misinterpreting signs of attraction and moving things along in that direction. With the maniac pixie girls they're usually either pursing you or at least telegraphing their attraction loud and clear. This was definitely an issue when I was dating my introspective friend 7 years ago. I could never figure out where she was at with attraction in any given moment. I think she probably felt rejected sometimes because I didn't pursue. Unfortunately my friend often falls for the player types because they're so good at reading those subtle cues and pushing past her anxiety.

So do you reject the men that have previously gone for the manic pixie girls because you resent them or because you believe they haven't changed their preference? To me that seems overly harsh and maybe shutting down some good potential matches. As we have relationships we learn what works for us and what doesn't. I would certainly never date another girl like my ex again and have learned from my experience with my friend that the more introspective girls would actually be a healthier match for me. The challenge now is how to learn how to push through my nervousness and progress a relationship with someone more like my friend.

Anyway, interesting food for thought. Thanks!

Originally Posted by Eternal Sunshine View Post
I am someone with similar personality to her - somewhat shy and introspective. I have often been overlooked by guys because they prefered "doing cartwheels on the beach" types. And they have often tried to come back to me after they got worn out by all the drama those types bring.

I have never and would never give someone like that another chance. I can talk to them and be friends with them but my romantic feelings for them are dead. My dream guy would find the "manic pixie dream girl" types as annoying as I do. I would even go as far as to say that if I meet a divorced guy and find out that he was married to that type of person, I would not date him.
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Old 6th March 2018, 11:30 AM   #17
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hey t/r/m.

just keep with it all, you've learned a lot on this journey of yours, however painful or frustrating at times.

never say never where the heart (or life is concerned) for that matter, who knows - it might be that you end up blissfully happy with someone that is actually a lot like your ex - they are just more compatible or they understand and share your values more.

of course, I think you may for now be more suited with a more introspective gal so you can get your courage and sense of old self back.

I think one thing that we all could do to remember (and I include myself in this too) is that as people we probably do have more of an inkling of who may be better suited for us (deep down) and often tend to overlook things that happen and keep on happening down the line that are not best suited for us or that well balanced with another we admire.

love is one of those things that you cant force or keep hold of if both parties are not wanting the same things. (or are not prepared to work to change it for the better)...

ok, so I got back to you sooner than I expected, but just trust yourself and allow someone when the time is right for you to meet and like all the things that make you you.

someone out there will like your introspection and shyness, a lot of women will find that refreshing and mature rather than having to battle with men that are too busy massaging their own ego's or parading their masculinity at the expense of their partners feelings or understanding how tedious to be or having to feel a constant need to come over as the alpha male is.

ok, that's me done on this one, you are gunna be just fine. and so Is the person you shack up with eventually who can give you the reciprocated love that you are looking for when it comes.

BEST WISHES tiny robot man. maxi.
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Old 7th March 2018, 3:50 PM   #18
Join Date: Feb 2018
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Thanks maxi. Pretty sure I don't need anyone like my ex ever again. The farther I get away from that the more I realize how destructive she was.

Funny thing last weekend, I met basically the female version of myself. She's much younger and in a relationship, so obviously no dating potential there, but completely weird how similar in almost every way down to some of the quirkiest details and even the way she speaks. It gives me hope that maybe somewhere out there is my match, but it always feels like such a needle in a haystack, especially with OLD.

I still miss my best friend so, so much and have to fight every day to maintain no contact. Especially since I know she would love to have me back as a friend but I have to work on myself now more than ever and not get caught back in "the zone".

One "bonus" of being heart broken is that it kills my appetite and desire to drink so I've lost 10 lbs. Always look on the bright side right ...
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Old 8th March 2018, 8:25 AM   #19
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Hey u robot man ...keep going, we are all rootin for ya.

yes, its funny how different people spring up and can be like elements of us or folks we know.

you will find your needle in the haystack, and there are millions of needles and millions of bales of hay all looking for the other...

well ok, then fine, you are probably best to stay away from the destructive kinda gal that she was in terms of the relationship match; so at least that is a step forward, not everyone realizes the damage others in relationships (and of course I am not talking everyone here...but the ones that are in manipulating scenarios or bullying abusive etc, not everyone there knows, recognises it or has the strength or support or connections to deal with it, and it always seems worse in some ways when those people are good people who still have love and are wanting to change the people that are abusing them or treating them so poorly.

but give it time, it will heal you in its own time so get on with things the best you can and "congratulations" on the 10lb weight loss, (see there are changes already...and physically now as well as positive small mental improvements to how you are seeing things); remember to keep those that love you for you and for the good person you are close to hand, they are the things that will really help you get your old self back again....and who knows, in time when the pain and wondering of all this has passed, im sure you will be able to face this girl and evaluate things on a more level setting and look at things more as an outsider would, but with the ability to talk and know her if she would want that friendship in the future.

if you get her as an acquaintance in the future then go with that, but don't let that be your thing, it will happen naturally if it is going to happen.

keep with it, you are sounding sunnier each time we chat just keep going. best wishes, maxi
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Old 16th March 2018, 1:27 AM   #20
Join Date: Feb 2018
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So being the guy that has to know the "why" of things I've been reading a bunch of relationship books over the last few weeks in a quest to understand what happened between me and my best friend. These including "The Man's Guide to Women" (why isn't that assigned reading in 9th grade?!) and "The Science of Happily Ever After", both excellent reads. After reading these books I've come to believe a lot of these friendzone type situations happen because of differences in the way men and women relate.

According to the books women relate to other women friends as well as their male partner in an emotionally intimate way. That is they share how things in their life are going emotionally, how things make them feel and want to be heard and listened to. When men get together with their male friends they don't relate emotionally but factually (ie. "Hey, I just bought a new truck"). This has certainly been the case in my experience, with some men barely being able to relate emotional experiences to their friends at all and who's only emotional confidant is their girlfriend or wife.

Where I think the friendzone fiasco often happens is when a women starts to see a single male friend who they are emotionally close with but don't desire a relationship with as another girlfriend. The relationship starts to take on an emotional intimacy which the women thinks of as a very close friend relationship and the man starts to see as a romantic relationship because men are used to only experiencing close emotional relationships with their girlfriends or wives. This mismatch is due to differences in how men and women relate as friends. The women often seems surprised or taken aback by the man's growing attachment and his romantic feelings and the man can't understand why the women doesn't see him romantically. It's neither one's fault but just a fact of nature that leads to heartbreak for the man involved and frustration for the women.

It's important to distinguish between unrequited crushes and friendships or people who have previously dated who've moved into the unfortunate friendzone. The unrequited crush can happen to both sexes in much the same way when one person doesn't really know the object of their crush and constructs an unrealistic romantic fantasy. However I believe the classic friendzone problem is fairly unique to close friendship style differences between men and women. After my heartbreaking experience with my best friend I've come to think that men and women can't actually be "best" friends. The man will almost always want something more if he's even remotely attracted to the women (and no I don't mean just sex) and the friendship becomes emotionally intimate. Men and women can certainly be friends but usually things need to remain on the same more surface level like a man would have with his male friends.

As for me I'm going to try to be just friends with my best friend I fell for because it would suck to not have her at all in my life considering what we've shared. However things can't ever be the same as they were before when we spent huge amounts of time together and shared so much. That's just an unfortunate fact of how I'm wired. The next person I'm that close with needs to be my actual partner or wife.

Honestly this has been probably the most difficult healing process of my life, even more than the breakup with my long term ex. At least I could hate my ex for the terrible things she did. My friend didn't do anything wrong other than try and be my best friend which makes it all the worse because I still love her. Hopefully somewhere out there in this ocean of sadness there's another shore because I still feel like I'm drowning.

Interested in thoughts on my friendzone conclusions.


Last edited by tinyrobotman; 16th March 2018 at 1:33 AM..
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Old 20th June 2018, 6:13 PM   #21
Join Date: Feb 2018
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Well it's been awhile and things have in many ways gone from bad to worse but I have learned a lot about myself and her. Will kind of summarize the events here but in March we tried to be friends again and I wasn't ready. We did have some long talks however and it seems that at least on the surface for her is that she thinks of me "like a brother" and doesn't have any sexual attraction. After hanging out a few times I broke down and told her I still needed more space and time. It was just too hard to be around her.

Fast forward to May and we had been NC for about 8 weeks. I had found a good therapist and got on to antidepressants. Was starting to feel better and making progress in my life again (well at least i could get out of bed before noon so that was an improvement). I get a text from her out of the blue that she had just broken up with the guy. Ironically the issue was that he couldn't handle her having male friends and was very jealous and insecure.

We hung out a few nights over the next week. I made sure to set some boundaries for myself as she wanted to hang all the time and was upset over the breakup. However we went out to dinner one night and had an amazing time. She recounted all the things we had shared over the years and the evening felt very date like in a way. I even thought I picked up some signs of attraction from her which I made the mistake of mentioning off hand the next day.

Well two days later she's very upset over her breakup again so like a schmuck I went over to her house to comfort her. She went on and on about wanting to contact the guy again and talk with him and how he was probably out dating already and speculating that had he been cheating on her (little evidence of that). Just crazy hysterical stuff.

Well she decided to fly back and visit her high school friend in the city where he lives the coming weekend and reaches out to him. They meet up while she's there and start to reconcile after he pulls some manipulative crap. Also while she's there she texts me something about she should just move there since her high school friend lives there. Zero thought to how that might make me feel.

When she gets back from the trip she texts me and cancels all our upcoming plans and says he can't hang out as just friends anymore due to my comment about thinking she was attracted at dinner. I of course am upset and feel used. Obviously as part of her reconciliation with the guy she agreed to ditch me since I was one of the big issues they fought about. We exchanged a few long texts the next day which were very much like typical breakup messages and how all these feelings and emotions are bad and she needs some "space" and to be away from all the drama. We left it that we were taking some space and would check in every once in awhile. It's been 6 weeks of NC other than me reaching out with a "how are you" message in a moment of weakness to which there was no reply.

So ... This is all pretty complicated but I've learned about attachment style theory in my reading and from my therapist. I've figured out that I'm anxious and my friend is avoidant. Her and I even discussed it and she could see her avoidant tendencies. I've come to believe that in many ways we were in an anxious/avoidant relationship of sorts. I know it's tempting to say we were just friends and I'm just reading too much into it since we hadn't been sexual for so long. However we spent a huge amount of one on one emotionally intimate time together including holidays, birthdays, trips and had even talk about sharing a house together. We were both of each other main person in our lives and were there for each other all the time.

I think what we had was comfortable for her because it didn't trigger her avoidance since she could say we were "just friends". She got the benefits of a relationship without all the messy emotional and commitment issues. I being anxious and likely having self esteem issues was willing to settle and not push for a real relationship for fear of rejection. I also was getting many of my emotional and relationship needs met without having to take a chance. Our relationship/friendship was always on her terms however and that wasn't healthy for me. I was her placeholder until someone she felt more attraction too came along.

My therapist also suggested that she likely projects intimate/flirty relationship vibes when her and I interact as a way of keeping me hooked and in the friendzone. She may not even know she's doing it but it works to keep men around her without having to commit or offer a real relationship. I'm not the only man that this has happened to with her.

I know I deserve better, but unfortunately knowing and feeling are different and I still miss her tremendously and feel pain over it everyday. Our brief re-engagement six weeks ago didn't help. I really had hope that she would at least not move and we could be friends again and maybe even had the hope that she would see me in a different light after NC. However with some space again and taking her off the pedestal I am really starting to see some of her flaws. Many of which are the reasons I broke things off six years ago. Along with being avoidant she can be very self centered, lacks empathy and often doesn't consider others feelings. She really seemed to have no idea how her just up and removing herself from my life when someone came along would make me feel. She stays unattached so she can't understand how other do.

I'm trying to get on with my life and been on some dates, but still find myself comparing them to her. Not sure where to go from here. Should I go full NC? I'm sure she and the guy will breakup eventually but she also seems uncomfortable and is avoiding me now so not sure about even being friends. I'm pretty angry about how she restarted our friendship and the ditched me two weeks later, feel used. I'm not sure why that one comment asking if she was attracted set her off, but it seems to have. Maybe calling her out on the signals she sends out when she wants me around?
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Old 20th June 2018, 6:29 PM   #22
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 13
Some Lessons I've Learned:

If you think you might want to have a relationship with someone be clear about it and just go for it when you can. There is an expiration date on attraction, especially for women.

Learn to be more sexually aggressive and steer the relationship in a sexual direction if you want that. I tended to let the women lead on this. One thing she said that is true is that the difference between the friendzone and a boyfriend is sexual energy. Had I been more aggressive 6 years ago when we were hooking up then maybe there would have been a chance to see where things went as a real relationship.

Be hell yes or hell no to relationships. A maybe is a no.

It's not someone else's job to be attracted to you. You have to attract them.

Don't let someone keep you on the hook for less than you want.

If you really want to just be friends set clear boundaries and don't treat it like a sexless relationship, someone will get hurt. I have female friends but I treat them like my male friends and they don't treat me like a fake boyfriend so it's fine.

Avoid people with avoidant attachment issues. They won't be able to meet you fully and will do anything they can to minimize the relationship and intimacy. You will have an unhealthy dynamic, especially if you're anxious with low self esteem.
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