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Is this Friendship salvagable?

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  • #390712
    Francis
    Participant

    Ok, i’m either asking for advice on if I should try to reconcile with someone or at least get closure.

    So, I serve in the military and I have been in 6 months training and in 3 weeks from now I will be graduating. During my 6 months, i became close friends with a girl who I eventually grew interest on,  so I told her how I felt. I made it clear that I was ok that she didn’t feel the same way, in addition, the training environment isn’t the place for this kinda stuff, she agreed and expressed she wanted to remain friends as well.

    However, after time went by she started to distance herself from me in where having a conversation with her was getting harder and harder. I then felt so bad that the friendship we had wasn’t the same and I wanted to get passed the “awkwardness” and just get things back to normal.. so I tried to keep a distance from her but at the same time would try to casually talk to her because I did not want to come off as a guy who was a butthurt about getting rejected. I really valued the friendship we had, and it’s just so hard being alone during military training, thing is, every time I tried to talk to her she would get very flakey as time went by.

    However, she just couldn’t see me as a friend anymore. I didn’t want her to think of me as a guy who was trying to be friends with her to gain a chance to win her over eventually, however she saw me just as that. I made a huge mistake which was getting into an argument with her about this which caused the communication and friendship to completely die.

    It’s 2 months after and I have stopped talking to her ever since.. and I eventually came to the realization and understanding of her side of things, I should have respected her space better and at the same time, I can understand why she didn’t want to be my friend anymore after I told her I had feelings for her.

    Thing is, I am hurt and I have no option to avoid her since we are in the same unit and training classes, so it is so hard not to feel bad. I don’t want to be a creep or do anything wrong so I so reluctant to talk to her because I do not want to be disrespectful and commit this mistake again.. however a side of me is thinking of trying to talk to her in a sense of good closure, for us to end in good terms.. which is why I am here asking on advice for this.

    #390720
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Francis:

    Is this Friendship salvageable?“- I don’t think so, not as long as the two of you are in the military, particularly in the same unit.

    Thing is, I am hurt…a side of me is thinking of trying to talk to her in a sense of good closure, for us to end in good terms… which is why I am here asking on advice for this“-

    – I don’t think that it is a good idea to initiate a conversation with her, for closure or for any other reason. I think that the best closure you can get is by really, really giving up on resuming a friendship with her.

    I understand that “it’s just so hard being alone during military training“, and that you liked her very much, but I don’t think the friendship you had with her is possible to resume in the current context, and further pursuing it in any way can only backfire against you.

    I personally know of military people who were very lonely during service, and I wish you were not as lonely as you’ve been so far. I hope things get better for you, and you are welcome to post again anytime!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by anita.
    #390723
    Francis
    Participant

    Is it normal for girls or the “rejectee” to end friendship with the person who developed an interest in them, even though the person was completely ok with just being friends?

    #390725
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Francis:

    I can understand why a young woman would feel awkward being just- friends with a man who not long ago expressed a romantic/ physical interest in her. Let’s say she sees you looking at her a certain way, and rightly or wrongly, she finds herself thinking something: is he looking at me that way… and she gets self-conscious about her looks, uncomfortable.

    anita

    #390734
    Francis
    Participant

    would closure through a letter be a good idea? Like, write her a letter on the day we leave the detachment just to apologies for not realizing what i was doing and also to explain what my intentions were.

    #390736
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Francis:

    I don’t know that you did anything wrong that requires an apology. If all you did was tell her what you felt for her, there was nothing wrong with that. Writing her a letter on the last day that the two of you are in the same unit, if I understand correctly, is okay, I think, except that in the back of my mind I am thinking about the big U.S. news item of late: sexual harassment in the U.S. military. I don’t know where you are at, but be careful! I will be away from the computer and back in about 11 hours.

    anita

    #390745
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Francis:

    I want to re-read your posts and see what I overlooked, and if I can add anything. You opened your original post with a question: “if I should try to reconcile with someone or at least get closure“.

    To reconcile, means to make amends, come to a truce, or settle a dispute. I want to see what was broken, what was the dispute, and was there an argument or a fight that needs to come to a truce:

    You shared that you serve in the military and will be graduating a 6-month training course later this month, January 2022. During these 6 months, you became “close friends” with a girl in the training unit, a friendship that you very much valued.

    Within the friendship, you developed “an interest” in her and told her so. If I understand correctly, she expressed to you that she didn’t feel the same way. In response, (1) you made it clear to her that you were “ok that she didn’t feel the same way“, and (2) you told her that “the training environment isn’t the place for this kinda stuff“.

    She agreed with you and “expressed she wanted to remain friends as well“. But she distanced herself from you and behaved in a flaky way, unlike before. The friendship was not “back to normal“, and there was awkwardness, “she just couldn’t see me as a friend anymore“, you wrote.

    I made a huge mistake which was getting into an argument with her about this which caused the communication and friendship to completely die” – an argument, a huge argument that ended all communication with her: this is the part I overlooked yesterday.

    It’s been two months since that huge argument and the two of you didn’t talk since. During these two months, you “eventually came to the realization and understanding of her side of things, I should have respected her space better“.

    In your last post, you asked: “would closure through a letter be a good idea? Like, write her a letter on the day we leave the detachment just to apologies for not realizing what I was doing and also to explain what my intentions were” –

    Wikipedia on sexual harassment in the military reads: “Some example definitions in use by state armed forces are: *Australian Defence Forces: Unwanted sexual advances or sexual requests towards to another person, * British Army: Unwanted sexually based conduct or other conduct affecting the dignity of women and men at work, * Canadian Armed Forces: Improper conduct directed at and offensive to others, which the perpetrator ought reasonably know would be so….”-

    – I can see how the huge argument that you had with her, given the topic of the argument included your “interest” in her that went beyond friendship, can easily be considered by your higher ups in the military as improper conduct directed at and offensive to her, a conduct that you ought to have reasonably known would be offensive to her, and otherwise, be considered an unwanted sexual advance, or an unwanted sexually based conduct that affected her dignity at work.

    Taking all of this into consideration, my thoughts: it is okay for you to hand her a letter apologizing for your behavior (do not list behaviors that can possibly be considered sexual harassment!), letting her know that you are very sorry for any and all discomfort that you caused her, let her know that you are no longer expecting a friendship with her, and that you value the friendship you had before. Close with wishing her well during the remaining training and beyond.

    Another suggestion: do not repeat the mistake of venturing again beyond friendly interactions with female military personnel: see to it that nothing in your behavior with female personnel can possibly be considered improper or offensive.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by anita.
    #390769
    anita
    Participant

    * correction: I misread: “I made a huge mistake which was getting into an argument” as: I made a mistake getting into a huge argument. Still, my message is still the same as I expressed above.

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