feelings not mutual

A bit ago I told you about a someone who’d befriended me using Tinder. I got to know his family, and they were generous and kind and supportive, especially as I was going through the loss of my children’s father / my ex.

In addition to those positive qualities, he was also insistent, pushy, interruptive — I mean he texted me waaaay too often during the workday. Sometimes I was put off by the way he behaved toward his wife, who I genuinely liked. And I was very direct with him about his being too needy, wanting to take up my time, insisting he become my best friend, etc. All of which is a bit weird, right? But I chalked it up to cultural differences and maintained my own boundaries.

Sometimes he was too suggestive, and I would immediately put him in his place. There is no way someone who is not available (single) is going to get away with disrespecting his wife / marriage — or me, for that matter — with that sort of crap. He passed this behavior off as his desire for a “Frazier – Roz” type relationship. I told him Frazier was single, so that wasn’t happening.

I had coffee with his wife once. She told me she appreciated how I put him in his place and said that our friendship had actually strengthened their marriage. I told her, truthfully, that I thought of him as a running buddy.

And then, while on a family vacation, this friend sent me an email expressing his feelings. He suggested that I was in his thoughts far too often, expressed his jealousy of Lee, wrote that he would commit to me in a heartbeat if things were different… Ultimately, it sounded almost like an offer. And, candidly, I was extremely put off. His missive was verging on an Anna Karenina type tragedy — lovers who pine for each other but cannot be together.

Except that I had no such feelings for him. Never have. Not even a little bit.

I was repulsed, and I found it repugnant that he would say such things — especially since he was supposed to be spending quality time with his family.

So I ended our friendship. I couldn’t possibly continue in a relationship of any kind with someone who thought that way about me, but was married.

Then I got an email from his wife, who thanked me for no longer being friends with her husband but asked if she could continue to be friends with me.

All of which left me shaking my damn head.

I made an effort to become friends with people very unlike me in ways — with cultural and religious differences. I thought this relationship might enrich both of our families. And for awhile, it appeared that might be the case. But I’m not willing to risk putting myself or others in a situation that’s not healthy for all involved.

Seems all kinds of relationships are coming to a conclusion in my life…but I’m not able to feel equally at peace about them all.

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