She’s got trust issues and wants to be “just friends.” Will I get stuck in the friend zone?

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Dear Megan,

I met this girl 3 months ago at my buddies wedding. We slept together the first night and had a “fling” for about 10 days. Spent a lot of time together and connected emotionally.  I went back home to my country and we kept in touch daily for the last 3 months. Sharing stories, photos, I love you’s.

She is an attractive model with her own dating site as a dating coach and gets hit on constantly, but she chose to give me a chance.  However, I was acting aloof and mysterious and fun when I met her.  Over time, I became too needy, “fell for her”, sent her too many gifts and professed my love to her too soon, too much. She recently backed off the last month. Less texting on her part.

A few days ago, I went back to see her in her country, to see if there was anything left. My best friend lives in the same country so it’s a dual-purpose visit. She and I spent the night together at my hotel, but no sexual intercourse together. We just talked all night long.

She said she couldn’t trust me and men, because they all seem to just want to sleep with her and not really care about her.  Plus, she’s been adopted and never had a father in her life.

So she felt even more distant towards me/men. She said she really likes me. Wants us to be close and friends.

Since I was acting needy too, she told me she wants a Strong man in her life. But just not right now, as she is focused on her career and doesn’t want any relationships right now.  She kept saying that she is very attracted to me when I act strong, though. It felt like she was giving me instructions on how to win her over, in time. She even told me she told her brother about me, who she is very close to.

What I felt she was telling me was, basically, man up, don’t act too needy, don’t over-pursue her, give her time, be patient, be her friend… Then we could possibly pursue something in the future.

She said a ton of guys hit on her daily but I “won” her over. I was different. She saw potential in me to be great. She had posted a dating video on her site and in 3 days, received over 100,000 views. Plus, she showed me her phone and how many guys messaged her daily. It was overwhelming.

The last communication I had with her was I texted her a few hours after she left.  I told her I’m going to take a break from her and us. Go work on my insecurities, and re-connect with her in the future. She said, “Yes, definitely. Thank you for all your love.”

My question is: If I just be her friend, and not try to pursue her romantically, will that help me in the long run? I really do care about her. She has had a rough upbringing and I respect the hell out of her and do wish that we can be together in the future… Even if it does take time.

I can see why she doesn’t trust men, so I can agree to just being friends for now, but on the flip side, I don’t want to be friend-zoned forever.

Thanks for reading.

-Mr. Friend-zoned

 


Dear “Mr. Friend-zoned,”

Ahhh, sex symbols and the men who love them…  God bless ya.  Now on to your question: “If I just be her friend, and not try to pursue her romantically, will that help me in the long run?”

I hate to tell you this, Mr. Friend-zoned, but friends don’t have hidden agendas, so what you’re really asking is, “How far will pretending that I don’t have a romantic interest in this girl get me?”  And that I can answer.  In “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” this sort of unintentional, yet long-term deceit – which plays right into her trust issues, by the way – would classify you as a gentleman wolf.  (Don’t worry, there are worse.)  I’ve been in this situation many ‘a times, and it always reminds me of one of the baddest boys I ever dated.  His catch phrase to me was, “But you like that, don’t you?”  Anytime I complained about his behavior he let me know that my sticking around was a vote for more of the same.  The way he saw it was that if I didn’t leave I must like it.  I had no better teacher in weaning myself off of bad boys than him.  (If only we could all be so lucky!)

And now, the girl you believe you have fallen in love with, is asking you to become one of the “bad guys,” or be doomed to the dreaded friend zone…  “Act aloof,” she encourages you, (and undoubtedly her dating site pupils), in your quest to gain the heart of an emotionally unavailable woman.  “Be distant – like my father.”  Her instructions on how you get past her trust issues and into a relationship with her are the result of her trying to have a relationship with her father, not you.  So the real thing you have to figure out is this:  Do I want to learn to act like a man who left his little girl and scarred her emotionally, or do I want to continue to be the outwardly expressive, loving guy I am, and hope that she comes around.  (Only slightly rhetorical, right?)

You two are both nice, semi-self-aware people, (like the best of us), you just got a shitty situation to deal with.  In relationships, many people want what they have yet to figure out how to create.  Yes, she may have spotted your good heart and intentions, and want a loving relationship with you, but asking you to act less loving only shows that she is not yet capable of creating one.   So in the meantime she’s asked you to be her friend.  If you can’t act like the bad boy she thought you were in the beginning, then you can at least stick around for when she hopefully tires of them and can better receive you.  And you want to know the chances of her coming back around and settling down with you? (Drumroll, please.)   33%…  Hope that helps!

For one, you’d have to wait a while as the fact that her asking you to tone down your love, (opposed to her rising up to it), shows that she’s still a ways off from being able to receive you.  And given how many men she’ll eat in the meantime, your flame has little chance of surviving.  Furthermore, in the end if she did choose you the whole thing would reek of settling, so she’ll probably do you both a solid and just get some fresh meat to avoid the stench. There is a slight chance that she’ll ultimately pick you, though, as anything is possible when – like a high-profile industry – you’ve got your foot in the door.

It’s amazingly insightful of you to gather that you may want to work on your insecurities from your interaction with her.  Most wolves, er, guys, I’ve dealt with get so caught up in flattery that they fail to examine why they’re willing to do so much for it.  “There’s a lid for every pot,” and if I’m being totally honest I’d encourage you to choose someone who’s fueled by your love, not someone who finds it draining.  And since you’ve got a taste for “bad girl blood” now, feel free to ignore anything we say and just watch what we do.  You’ve found The One when you have no need to consult others on your chances of things working out ;).

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

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Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

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