February 2, 2024 at 10:39 am #427517
I feel torn about the issue related to my platonic relationship. We’ve known each other for more than a year, but never met in person. There is some distance between our countries, but not so much, that it could be a real obstacle to meet each other. He kept offering to meet a couple of times, and then delaying. But from the beginning, I am the one, who has cared and pushed more about a meeting in person. He used to have some not-so-convincing excuses to delay our meeting – like that he miscalculated his vacation days at work, and he ran out of them. Despite contact being limited to online, we got very close, and I learned that delaying is related to the fears of rejection he has had.
We understand and “feel” each other very well; we enjoy online contact, and I would like to maintain it, even if it never goes to the stage of real-life meetings.
Recently, he told me, he has had some issues at the workplace. He has felt very bad, as his work atmosphere has been unfriendly. He also hasn’t found new friends in a country he moved to and lives in, and now he told me he has been thinking of moving out.
Not only that, but he said he has been thinking about relocating to my country. I was a bit skeptical, because we had never seen each other, and that sounded unrealistically like he would be ready to make such a big step to move to my country, or even my city. Also, I know him well enough to know that he often changes his mind. But he became very enthusiastic about it, and I was touched by his enthusiasm, and we got carried away by dreams about living in the same city.
Also, to add more context, he has more friends in my country, is fascinated by the culture of my country, and learns my language. His feelings toward me and sentiment toward my country were known to me before, and we talked about the future before, so I wasn’t entirely surprised by this idea. I had reasons to believe that his despair about workplace issues was just a factor that accelerated his relocation, but ultimately he wants to move to live close to me.
I started helping by giving advice on the organization of such relocation and job searching. We agreed that we are going to meet in the next few days for a weekend, so that he can come to meet me in person and see my country and decide, if relocation there is good for him.
But after one of our conversations, I felt that he got distant and backtracked a bit, and, indeed, the next day he said he had started to look for a new job in other countries, too. He emphasized that it doesn’t change our plan to meet, and my country is still one of the options he considers.
I felt a bit let down and said that I would pause my involvement in helping with organizing his relocation, until he knew for sure if he came. I thought that would be unfair if I put in the effort, and then he eventually decided to go to another country.
We talked that day long, because he saw I got upset, and he explained to me and confessed that he is in a very low situation now, because of workplace issues, and he needs to move away somewhere else very quickly. That’s why he hasn’t focused his efforts only on my country; he would go to the first country he gets a job offer from to “escape the loneliness”. I gave him my support and understanding.
In the next few days, we were supposed to agree on the date of the meeting, and then he told me about bad relations with his manager and new workplace issues, saying that it now endangers getting the day off at work (that he needs to take, to come over for a weekend). He seemed angry at his manager and willing to engage in a “war” with them. I asked him to focus on our meeting and on leaving the unfriendly environment, not on things that may endanger it, like “wars” with the manager.
I started sensing he sabotages the meeting and wants to delay it more, as he told me new excuses (as perceived by me) about wanting to choose later date, because of cheaper tickets. Eventually he said he asked at work for a day off, but he was refused (I perceived it as an excuse too, because he started those quarrels with the manager at about the same time and didn’t try to negotiate about the day off).
At that moment, I felt severely disappointed – again, the same. I said that he broke his promise about meeting, and he denied it – by saying it was not a promise!
I had quite enough and thought I should not allow him to treat me in such a way that he breaks promises and even denies it was even a promise… What is also disappointing, that he involved me in planning his relocation by asking for various pieces of advice while, at the same time, constantly changing his mind and keeping his options open. Now, at that moment, I felt I had to do something to prevent being treated with disrespect. I said a bit harsh words about him not taking responsibility for his words, and ended: “I think you know better what country will be best for you. We involved me too much into this advice and activities. Now I am willing to talk again only once you are on a plane to my city.”.
We’ve kept silent since then; it’s been a couple of days.
But now I have afterthoughts. I left him in those workplace troubles I know he has for sure (he had been mentioning his struggles at work earlier, before we started arranging the meeting), and as he confessed about his struggles, he deserves a helping hand. Also, I sense his fear about meeting may be the true reason (but he hasn’t admitted it). I feel guilty. But on the other hand, I know that if I forgive, without even hearing “sorry” from him, I put myself in the position of someone, who allows bad treatment. It’s not been the first time, and he never said “sorry”.
Please help. Am I doing the right or wrong thing? How the situation looks like from the perspective of an observer? I am lost.February 2, 2024 at 1:40 pm #427526
I read your original post attentively. You read like an honest, straightforward person; he reads like a wishy-washy person who sometimes tells you the truth, at other times, he doesn’t. Reads like he never told you the whole truth at any one time. Seems to me that this is his faulty character, sadly.
I wouldn’t contact him if I was you until and unless (like you told him), he arrives- in action, not in words- to your city to meet you in-person.
anitaFebruary 3, 2024 at 5:25 am #427531RobertaParticipant
When a person has a bad/unsympathetic manager it really is a nail biting time. My son had a particularly bad one, he asked for an morning shift so that he could see my mother as she was in his city for biopsies – manager refused saying not a family emergency and she was only his grandmother ( it was the last chance to see her, she died 6 weeks later). She also made him cancel his doctors appointments and then blamed him for going off sick.
If you are trying to find a new job you may also need that person to give you a good reference so you need to keep them on side.
Your friend maybe wishy washy, but as long as you are not being asked to help financially, whats wrong with giving them a small portion of your on line time? You do not have to be emotionally or romantically involved to be a good listener.
RobertaFebruary 3, 2024 at 9:33 am #427533
I wanted to reply to you today at greater length (I am using the boldface and italic feature in the following quotes):
“From the beginning, I am the one, who has cared and pushed more about a meeting in person. He used to have some not-so-convincing excuses to delay our meeting – like that he miscalculated his vacation days at work, and he ran out of them… I felt a bit let down…. We talked that day long, because he saw I got upset… In the next few days, we were supposed to agree on the date of the meeting, and then he told me about bad relations with his manager and new workplace issues, saying that it now endangers getting the day off at work (that he needs to take, to come over for a weekend). He seemed angry at his manager and willing to engage in a ‘war’ with them… he told me new excuses (as perceived by me) about wanting to choose later date, because of cheaper tickets. Eventually he said he asked at work for a day off, but he was refused… I felt severely disappointed – again, the same. I said that he broke his promise about meeting”-
– it seems like he has been truly unhappy in his workplace and that he truly considered/ considers relocating, but it seems to me that he lied in regard to most, if not all of his excuses, particularly the one right before last: he knew that you were emotionally invested in meeting him in-person for a long time, that you were disappointed and upset (angry) with him about not making such meeting possible, so to deflect your anger away from him, he went to war with his manager in the context of talking to you.
His message to you was something like this: don’t get angry with me, I really want to meet you in-person, but my manager (my enemy, our enemy) is making it impossible for me and you to meet: get angry with our mutual enemy, not with me!
“But now I have afterthoughts. I left him in those workplace troubles I know he has for sure (he had been mentioning his struggles at work earlier, before we started arranging the meeting), and as he confessed about his struggles, he deserves a helping hand. Also, I sense his fear about meeting may be the true reason (but he hasn’t admitted it). I feel guilty. But on the other hand, I know that if I forgive, without even hearing ‘sorry’ from him, I put myself in the position of someone, who allows bad treatment. It’s not been the first time, and he never said sorry’. Please help. Am I doing the right or wrong thing? How the situation looks like from the perspective of an observer? I am lost.”-
– his bad treatment of you consists of him repeatedly lying to you, and knowing that you have been your emotional investment in him (in a real-life relationship) for more than a year, he fed your investment, didn’t interrupt it, and didn’t tell you the truth for the whole time!
His lies (excuses) are clear, but what is the truth that he didn’t- but should have told you? Seems to me that his truth is that he is not interested in a real-life relationship with you.
I don’t think that there is a valid reason for your guilt. I think that the right thing for you to do is to grieve your hopes and dreams in regard to this man. I am sorry for your hurt…
anitaFebruary 3, 2024 at 3:57 pm #427537
I am thinking deeply of your reply. Thank you for breaking down the situation into single pieces and pointing out the aspects of lies. I have just forgotten about lies, to preserve my idealistic view of him and our relationship.February 3, 2024 at 4:06 pm #427538
Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry about the story with your son’s manager. I know that sadness after such situations stay in us for long, if not forever.
Thank you for pointing out the aspect that it may be another type of relationship rather than a romantic one.
I’m grateful that I could safely share such personal matters.February 3, 2024 at 9:19 pm #427539TommyParticipant
Sorry, I am not a woman so I do not see it from a woman’s point of view. You seems to be more invested into this relationship than just platonic. There has been no meeting and no face time? If you want to meet so badly as to cut him off unless he is on a plane to meet you then it must mean you want something more than friends?
From the man’s point of view, he does not want to commit to a relationship that he is unsure of. Yes, platonic. Then as friends, the only demand should be to talk every so often as to keep in touch and up to date about life. But, if you are a woman then he might have feelings that he can not control. It makes him want to meet you. He may want to see if there is a possibility of more than friendship but he is not willing to be rejected. Putting pressure on him to be on a plane to go meet you, that is in a sense rejection. He will feel this. And depending upon how deeply he wants to meet you, he will make his decision.
That song by Nicollete Larson, “Lotta Love”. It comes to my mind when I read your post. I hope you find what you’re looking for.February 4, 2024 at 8:01 am #427546
You are welcome. I hope that you learn from the experience, be wiser for it, and that you are feeling better. If it helps, you are welcome to share here your deep thoughts and I will attentively and respectfully reply to you.
anitaFebruary 4, 2024 at 5:28 pm #427568
Thank you for your reply. When I read your words, it actually feels as if he could say the same as well. Thanks for saying from a man’s perspective about relationships and rejection. I cannot not agree about the pressure. He told me about problems at work and I saw how stressed out and down he is because of it, and suddenly my reaction was to pressure him to take some immediate action. All that he said, it overwhelmed me.
And I’m afraid this beautiful song catches the vibe of the situation.February 4, 2024 at 5:31 pm #427569
Thank you so much for good wishes and your thoughtful responses.February 4, 2024 at 5:55 pm #427570
You are very welcome, Jus!
anitaFebruary 5, 2024 at 10:08 am #427576NikkiParticipant
I am sorry you are going through this and I believe you are not being treated with the respect you deserve. I would suggest you read your own post and imagine that it was a close friend that wrote it. What would your advice to her be?
Unfortunately, until you meet someone in person, you don’t really know who they are. And if someone is constantly putting off meeting you and making excuses, it is probably because they are not who you think they are…
This person has caused you stress, disappointment, anger, frustration… and wasted a lot of your time. Time you could’ve spent engaging with more worthy people.
If he really is who he says he is, and you are that important to him, he would find a way to get to you, and meet you. But I suspect he can’t, because he has been lying all along.
If you engage with someone online, and develop feelings, make sure you facetime as soon as possible, and talk on the phone. If they don’t want to do that, there is a serious problem.
I agree with one of the other responders, that he brought up the workplace situation to distract you from his lies. He sounds manipulative and selfish.
Good luck and may you find someone who is worthy of you and the love and friendship you have to offer.February 6, 2024 at 4:22 pm #427645
Thank you for your reply.
It is priceless to see things from new angles, although, yes, it is quite sad, too. I cannot not agree with the part about the motivation: “If he really is who he says he is, and you are that important to him, he would find a way to get to you.”
Thank you for the good wishes!