How can I back away from girl who is my best friend and who works with me?

Hi I will keep this as brief as possible but need some help. I have known this girl for 2 years and over the past year we have become really close as we have helped each other through some tough times. I am 32 and she is 31. Around 6 months ago I knew I was falling for her and around 3 months ago I had to tell her. She was fine with it and explained I had taken her by surprise, she asked for some time to think about what I had said as she had never thought about me that way. I have her some space and we had no contact for two weeks until she contacted me to meet up where she explained she was still unsure but couldn't allow herself to see me as anything other than a friend and a support as I had been the one to help her through her hard time and she was afraid of losing me if it went wrong.

This sounded reasonable so I accepted it and explained I wanted us to remain friends too but that I would need to sort my feelings out for a while, she accepted this.

However, since that time things have changed, she constantly tells me how many guys chat her up or ask her out and she has taken to having guys stay over at hers every weekend (and she goes out both nights every weekend which is her prerogative and she isn't harming anyone but she has changed since she has started doing this). She always adds that these guys stay on the couch and they are friends but they are also the guys she has told me that like her.

If I try to back off then she always finds a reason to need to chat and then turns that into drinks after work or days out together at the park etc where we sit for hours having a laugh, but she always brings up our situation and its almost like she enjoys hearing me tell her how much I like her just to rebuff me again.

She makes flirty jokes which she never used to and sings suggestive made up song lyrics to me almost teasing me. A few weeks ago we went out and I saw a girl who I knew and chatted for a while innocently, when I went back to the table she had invited a guy over and was all over him. Then I had the third degree over who the girl was that I had been chatting to.

Everybody tells me that she clearly likes me but she denies she does so again I have had to say I need space from her which is hard as we see each other every day in work. She got upset and asked if we could meet Friday night as we were both out with our friends. I agreed and then she asked where I was so I told her and she just didn't show up but text the following day saying "oops sorry I didn't want to leave where I was". I am not the type who things get to but I feel she is making a mockery of me now and my friends all said on Friday I am looking a bit of a mug now.

Question is how the heck do I back off when I work with her and she knows all of my feelings? It's like she won't allow me to and its rocking my confidence. She never initiates texts either and waits a day to reply, if she replies at all.
Updates:
Ps - for the girls, is it normal for a girl aged 31 firstly to act like this and secondly to allow guy "friends" to sleep over whenever they like?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Sounds like she enjoys the ego boost and the attention, without consideration of how this is messing with you.

    If you make it clear to her that your feelings have changed - even if it's only in outward appearance, by setting boundaries on your friendship and not being so responsive or pro-active with her - she will be none the wiser. People's feelings can change quite quickly.

    This will protect you and should stop her behaving the way she is. It might be the end of your friendship, but so be it - maybe it was never a good friendship anyway as it sounds one-sided in terms of effort.

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    • Re. @ update, it comes down to personal maturity and self-awareness, rather than age :) People can exhibit silly behavior at any age...

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What Girls Said 1

  • I would stop talking to her altogether.

    She is being inconsiderate of your feelings.

    At work, I would greet her but maintain my distance and not strike up a conversation with her.

    Sure, things may feel off putting at first but you will grow accustomed to it.

    She knows your feelings and although she shares no interest in you,

    It boosts her confidence to see you wanting her or getting jealous.

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    • Thank you and thank you too Girl39, you are right I will always be civil to her but I think I will leave it at that. I just feel stupid that she has been able to get me this hooked on her. She can be lovely and she buys me small gifts now and again but then follows it up with how many guys have chatted her up that day, it's like a split personality. Think I need some time away from her.

What Guys Said 1

  • Love her from a distance until she proves to be considerate of your feelings for her or you are no longer in love with her. Don't accept her invitations to hang, don't allow her to talk about other guys in effort to make you jealous and by all means, don't allow her to toy with your feelings otherwise by flirting with to give you false hope only to push you back again and again. If you don't, you will continue to embolden her to play mind games with you, especially if she enjoys playing games with guys, which she apparently does.

    I personally feel that her perception of you weakens with each and every time you enthusiastically accept her invitations to hang again after a previous outing in which you stated you expressed your feelings for her and she pushed you away. Unfortunately, doing so has seemed to give her the impression that you are a submissive man.

    With that, if you want a chance with her in the future or want to remain respectable to her, then, you are going to have to stay in your masculinity and put forth boundaries which she must not cross.

    Good Luck,

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    • Thank you for your reply. I will start by declining lunch invitations as she wants us to take extended lunches each day in the car. I will certainly decline her idea she had last week of a day out drinking together in the next few weeks (she wanted me to fix her wipers on her car which I said will take me seconds but she wants to make a day of it). She is so confusing but I have to accept what she says and that is she just isn't interested in me in that way.

      Thanks again.

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