Hey Guys,

So I’ve been friends with this guy – Steven – for two and a half years. I’m 22 and he’s 23, and we met while at college, studying the same course. I feel like there’s so much to tell you about him, but I’ll try and condense it.

We’ve always had a very strange friendship; I don’t think he’s been friends with many females before me, and I had a lot of trouble getting him to open up. But basically, after about a year, I started to like him, and unfortunately (due to me foolishly confiding in friends) he ended up finding out. I admitted it to him, and in a bit of an awkward conversation, he told me he didn’t feel that way about me, spurted out all this talk about how I was “perfect marriage material” and that he didn’t want me to have to deal with his past. I’m not stupid, I realize it’s all talk so he doesn’t hurt me by bluntly saying, “No I’m not interested.” So I said that was fine, that we can still stay friends, and it was done.

I guess my main question here is that I’m feeling like I’m being played/manipulated by him. Although I’ve moved on to an extent (I think my feelings may always be there a little, but I’ve realized he’s not the right guy for me and I wouldn’t date him now.) I feel like he still clings to the confidence that he gains from knowing that I once liked him. He often tells me about girls in his life, and he’ll be quick to offer me to ‘hook up’ with one of his friends, which I always decline because I hate blind dates.

One time, a mutual friend of ours wanted to ask me out, and he confided in Steven, who told him NOT to ask me out. Why? I only found this out because of a friend who was eavesdropping; I’ve never asked Steven about it. Yet he maintains, according to other friends, that I’m just a friend to him and that’s it.

Also when we’re out in town dancing, the next day he’ll tell me about ‘all these guys that were eying you off,’ yet at the time this was happening, he doesn’t tell me. If it’s other friends, they’ll tell me right then and there. He doesn’t. Why tell me the next day? What’s he getting at?

Recently, I’ve tried setting him up with a girl, but he’s really hesistant. He is keeping in touch with her (just platonically) for the moment, and I often help him with advice. The funny thing is, recently I asked him for advice about this other guy that’s been on my mind, and he completely avoided the conversation the whole night. He knew I wanted to talk to him about it, but he he didn’t give me an open slot to bring it up.

I’m always happy to talk to him about girls, so what’s his problem?

Also, after years of being friends, Steven has never introduced me to his family. If he invites me over, it’s when no one is home. He always says he will, but then doesn’t. He opens up with me about things he hasn’t even told his mum. He’s quick to tell me HOW much I mean to him, but rarely shows it. When we’ve had arguments; he’s told me that he’d never let the friendship go, that he’d come banging on my door if I ever tried to end the friendship. That he’d always fight for me.

Another weird thing – he takes, generally, about 24 hrs to reply to a msg I send him. Not even kidding. What’s he doing for 24 hrs that it takes him that long to reply? Is this some sort of game he’s playing? Then if i take an hour to reply back, he won’t answer me till the next afternoon?

I just feel like he can be so genuine and sincere, and I find myself being drawn to him, before he’ll ruin it all by acting withdrawn or condescending the next time I see him, making me feel foolish for falling for it and opening myself up to him.

We’re purely physical by the way. I just want to know if he’s emotionally manipulating me like I think he is, and what you think I should do about it? What does he want from me?

I’m usually good at reading guys, I give all my friends advice, but this guy has got my mind reeling. I’m sick of his games.

Should I just end the friendship?

Any help would be great, I’m desperate for some good advice.

Thanks in advance guys, I’ll be sure to give you a donation.

Sophie

Dear Sophie,

Thanks for your question. We thought we understood your question until you said, ‘we’re purely physical.’ Wait, does this mean you’re sleeping with this guy? Because if so, his actions make much more sense. Please explain. For the purpose of this post we’re going to assume you are sleeping with him.

First of all, a FWB arrangement is not what you want here. And if that’s what’s going on you need to end that quickly. He might not be interested in a committed long-term relationship with you but he’s being territorial about you when it comes to other guys. He’s got a good thing going—a great friend and issue-free sex—so he doesn’t want some other guy moving in on his ‘good thing.’ So yes, he is manipulating the situation in that regard.

Sophie, ask yourself what you’re getting from this friendship. Are you secretly hoping he’ll come around? (Even though you say you’re not.) Be honest with yourself. If the answer is no, then stop the FWB and just be friends with the guy. If the answer is yes, then stop the FWB relationship and stop spending so much time with him. This friendship is actually impeding your ability to date other guys, because it’s keeping you emotionally hostage. Well, it’s more that you’re doing it to yourself by relying on him for so much.

Our suggestion: Dial this friendship back. Set up some clear boundaries. Lower your expectations to normal levels, to friendship levels. And start going out with other people away from this circle of friends. Overall, we think it’s time to move on from this situation as hard as that may be. This friendship is not good for you if you really want to meet some great guy and have a committed relationship.

As per his slow response time. In a word, inconsiderate. (A red-flag actually.) Is that the kind of person you want to have a relationship with? He might be fun to hang out with, but he seems to be getting more from the relationship than you.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please feel free to ask us a follow up question.

Take care,

THE GUYS

ps. Please let your friends know about us. Thanks!