- 7 years ago
- Wedding: December 2010
Bees, I’m looking for some advice and different perspectives on this situation.
I have a friend (I’ll call her Lily) who is in her late 20’s. She has never been in a relationship and doesn’t really have any guy friends, and remains very naive and clueless about men. She also has low self-esteem and tends to fixate on guys who don’t return her crushes.
It seems that because all her experiences with men have been so negative, Lily has learned not to expect much. This has turned into a vicious cycle of her settling for jerkwads, losing even more faith in men, then settling for even bigger jerkwads, etc. She is always saying things like, “I don’t understand men,” and “Boys are stupid.”
Instead of taking what guys say to her at face value, she tries to read into them. She literally thinks guys speak in secret boy code. Not surprisingly, she usually hears what she wants to instead of what they’re actually saying. For example, recently, a guy she really liked told her he would call her “soon.” She spent the next 24 hours in agony over what he meant by “soon.” She even asked my Darling Husband, “What do boys mean by soon?” Darling Husband was like, how should I know? I’m not him!
We both told Lily who cares what “soon” means, just call him yourself and tell him you’d like to go out, so name the date and time. Don’t play silly games. If he likes you, he’ll be ecstatic that you’re asking him out. If he gives you excuses, then he’s either playing you, or an immature idiot who doesn’t deserve your attention. Just be straight with him and you’ll have your answer.
Well, the guy said yes… and then proceeded to cancel on her three times with increasingly vague excuses. She very reasonably voiced her concern to him that he was not genuinely interested in dating her, and he blew up at her, deleted her off facebook, and now refuses to speak to her.
Instead of thinking, “Wow, what an a-hole! I sure dodged that bullet,” what did Lily do? She questioned her own mental sanity and convinced herself that maybe she had written him a rude drunken text message that she doesn’t remember and doesn’t have saved on her phone either, and sent him a message apologizing in case she offended him. She apologized! TO HIM! Not surprisingly, he ignored her.
Now there’s a free outdoor concert he had RSVP’ed yes to on facebook before he deleted her. She wants me to go to this concert with her, even though she “really hopes we don’t run into him there.” Yeah right, she’s dying to run into him! My first instinct was to say hell no, we’re not going. But if I decline, she’ll bring her clueless single friends and they’re going to let her make a fool of herself.
On one hand I think the best thing for me to do is be bluntly honest and say straight up…
Look, friend, this is what I see going on, and it’s not healthy. You know you’re going to spend all night looking for him and hoping to run into him. You’re hoping that he’ll see you all dolled up and regret dissing you. You want him to apologize to you. Maybe you hope he’ll beg for you to give him another chance.
You know none of this is actually going to happen. There will be thousands of people there and you won’t see him, but you’ll be anxious and miserable the whole night. Or you’ll see him, and he’ll be with some other girl and it will break your heart. Or you’ll see him but he’ll ignore you or blow you off and it will break your heart. Don’t do this to yourself. You deserve better. Let’s go out someplace else and have a fun night where there’s no chance he’ll pop up and ruin it.
On the other hand, Lily is really sensitive. If you say anything to burst her bubble, even if it’s heartfelt advice, she shuts down and you can bet she won’t tell you about anything the next time. She has insulated herself from anyone who will tell her their honest opinion. I’m one of the few people she still confides in who is not cluelessly single with warped ideas of what men and relationships should be.
I try to help her come to the right conclusions on her own by asking her questions and trying to “empower” her and all that, but that can only go so far! And this kind of thing happens with every single one of her crushes. She obsesses over every rejection for months on end, until a new guy comes along. Rinse and repeat.
Sorry this was so long, but what should I do, bees? What would you do? What has worked for you or not worked for you in your experience dealing with situations like this?