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    Jewel80's Avatar
    Jewel80 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 18, 2013, 02:47 PM
    Strange reaction to offer of friendship
    My co-worker and I are both in happy relationships with other people. Sometimes he teases me and has a laugh with me, as he does with other women at work. He sometimes talks to me about more serious issues in his life. He does not do this with other women at work. Recently I have being feeling emotionally closer to him and sent him a message that I saw us as friends and that I was there for him and he could trust me. There was no reply but the next day his reaction was very strange. At first he didn't mention it but did look over towards my desk a lot. Later he kind of joked about me sending him private messages to other colleagues in front of me. He then started flirting heavily with my female colleague and friend, who sits beside me. The more I ignored this, the more he flirted with her until, to get to my desk, I had to squeeze by him to get to my desk. I also ignored this. Later, when I was talking to my female friend about my husband, I could see his ears were sticking up like antenna. He kind of deflated a bit and stopped acting so weird. I admit I was a bit attracted to him as well as wanting to be friends with him but after that display, I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole. I am however bemused. What do you think was going on in his little head. I'm in my forties and he is in his thirties but you'd swear he was twelve! Please enlighten me!
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #2

    Feb 18, 2013, 02:59 PM
    Hard to say. First, we don't know what exactly you wrote to him and how he may have perceived it. Second, we don't actually know what is going on in his head.

    I could guess that maybe he took the message from you meaning that you were interested in him and he didn't know how to react around you. I could also guess that maybe he didn't act differently but you thought he did.

    Have you tried asking him?
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #3

    Feb 18, 2013, 02:59 PM
    Your "I will always be there for you" undoubtedly frightened him - that isn't how he sees your relationship progressing. I would guess that the extravagant displays toward your co-worker were to let you know he finds other women atttractive and/or he flirts with everyone. I wouldn't be too sure that your attraction to him isn't visible.

    It sounds like you responded to his behavior with behavior of your own - discussing your husband in a manner which he could hear and then watching for his reaction.

    This sounds very much like high school to me.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #4

    Feb 18, 2013, 03:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by JudyKayTee View Post
    This sounds very much like high school to me.
    Or grade school. It's the kind of thing I hear from my 12 year old.
    Jewel80's Avatar
    Jewel80 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Feb 18, 2013, 04:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by JudyKayTee View Post
    Your "I will always be there for you" undoubtedly frightened him - that isn't how he sees your relationship progressing. I would guess that the extravagant displays toward your co-worker were to let you know he finds other women atttractive and/or he flirts with everyone. I wouldn't be too sure that your attraction to him isn't visible.

    It sounds like you responded to his behavior with behavior of your own - discussing your husband in a manner which he could hear and then watching for his reaction.

    This sounds very much like high school to me.
    You are right, his behaviour was like high school and my reaction e.g.. Talking about my husband on purpose - you are also right about that. I did that because I could see he saw my offer of friendship as more of a proposition than it was meant to be. I was embarrassed by his reaction and I regretted even wanting to be his friend and I wanted to get the message across to him that I'm not interested in him that way and that he is 'safe' from me. I wish I was as wise and tuned into my behaviour as you. Do you have any advice for me?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #6

    Feb 18, 2013, 04:47 PM
    My advice is to let it drop and to not make such offers again, to any man. It's easy for anyone to perceive it as a first step toward offering to have an affair. You do say you felt closer to him emotionally. You may have been giving off tiny cues of flirtation getting a little serious, whether you think you mean it or not. And... men just are not the same as women. Most anyway. They think in terms of what will lead to sex, not deep friendship (unless they are gay).
    Jewel80's Avatar
    Jewel80 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Feb 18, 2013, 05:01 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    My advice is to let it drop and to not make such offers again, to any man. It's easy for anyone to perceive it as a first step toward offering to have an affair. You do say you felt closer to him emotionally. You may have been giving off tiny cues of flirtation getting a little serious, whether you think you mean it or not. And... men just are not the same as women. Most anyway. They think in terms of what will lead to sex, not deep friendship (unless they are gay).
    Ok thanks, and no I won't be making that mistake again. I guess I thought he was more interested in me than he was. He was doing all the flirty stuff, talking to me about stuff going on on his life, the eye staring thing and hinting that things were not going well in his marriage. Then he started sending me private messages about having no social life and stuff. I felt so sorry for him and genuinely thought I could be his friend. More fool me. I just found it all very confusing. I'm not tuned into how men think at all. I'm not a stupid person. I have an IQ of 138 but men are a mystery to me.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #8

    Feb 18, 2013, 05:40 PM
    I can sit in my armchair and dispense advice about men, but it doesn't mean that they aren't a mystery to all of us, and us to them.

    But I'm more confused now, because you said you were both in happy relationships with others. Now it sounds like you wanted him to be interested in you, and that sort of presumes that you really were interested in him?
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #9

    Feb 18, 2013, 06:04 PM
    You're married. Use your IQ to work on that marriage instead of sending messages to other men.

    Sorry, but I think you were opening the door to cheating - and it got slammed in your face. Not understanding men has little to do with this. Do you understand the one you're married to?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #10

    Feb 19, 2013, 02:28 AM
    Oops, missed the part about being married. A bit odd to start saying you are 'in a relationship' rather than married.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #11

    Feb 19, 2013, 09:23 AM
    Joy, that was one of the things that got my attention. Lately it seems to be more about what isn't said than what is said...
    Jewel80's Avatar
    Jewel80 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Feb 19, 2013, 01:51 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    Oops, missed the part about being married. A bit odd to start out saying you are 'in a relationship' rather than married.
    It is odd I agree. I must have mentioned I was married as the other member seems to know. I didn't mention it at the start as I am a bit ashamed to be carrying on like a teenager. Unfortunately I have been ill with depression for many years and have been on medication for this. This medication dulled my emotions and so I recently came off it gradually. Now I'm overwhelmed/enjoying/confused by all of these emotions I am feeling. I am learning how to live in the world again but it's not easy. This is why I come across as childish and why I'm asking advice about things I should know about.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #13

    Feb 19, 2013, 03:09 PM
    I have suffered from depression and taken medication for it. I find it extremely difficult to understand how coming off this could explain being ashamed to admit that you are married while being interested in another man's interest in you. It makes no sense to deliberately tuck pertinent information down the list of your story on a site where you are anonymous.
    You want advice about learning how to live in the world again. Again I find it that difficult to wrap my mind around. You managed to get a job, while thousands of depressed people can't even get out of the house. Depressed people don't forget what they know about living unless they are socked away in a back ward for years.

    I think you were intrigued and flattered by this man's interest in you, and you can't admit it even to yourself, and although perhaps you were a bit nave, you liked it, and only retreated when he acted they way he did with your co-worker.
    Jewel80's Avatar
    Jewel80 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Feb 19, 2013, 04:36 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    I have suffered from depression and taken medication for it. I find it extremely difficult to understand how coming off this could explain being ashamed to admit that you are married while being interested in another man's interest in you. It makes no sense to deliberately tuck pertinent information down the list of your story on a site where you are anonymous.
    You want advice about learning how to live in the world again. Again I find it that difficult to wrap my mind around. You managed to get a job, while thousands of depressed people can't even get out of the house. Depressed people don't forget what they know about living unless they are socked away in a back ward for years.

    I think you were intrigued and flattered by this man's interest in you, and you can't admit it even to yourself, and although perhaps you were a bit naive, you liked it, and only retreated when he acted they way he did with your co-worker.
    I think people react to depression in different ways. I was not "socked away in a back ward" as you say but I had lost any interest in men or the world around me for a long time. I never said I was depressed at the moment. After counselling and a lot of work I have gradually come off the medication. Of course I was "intrigued and flattered" by his attention. I never said I wasn't. That doesn't mean I wanted to be more than his friend. My primary emotion was, as I said all along, a feeling of being sorry for him. Now, a day later, it's a feeling of antipathy towards him. Not because he rejected my offer of friendship in such a humiliating way (I'm guessing you will jump to that conclusion) but because having used my colleague to to make a point yesterday, and getting no reaction from me, he stopped flirting with her today. Now she is upset and confused. He continued to look for my attention in more outrageous ways today by sharing sexy text messages last night with yet another colleague and mentioning it today to me. I ignored all of this and only conversed with him when he spoke to me about work issues. He spent the rest of the day making excuses to talk to me, staring at me and following my movements. I think he was perplexed and disappointed with the way I was reacting to him. Don't forget he assumed wrongly that I was coming on to him. He has started flirting with me again but I will never again offer him friendship. I will not respond nor react to his games. I think he is realising that he through away something precious when he over reacted to an offer of friendship.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #15

    Feb 19, 2013, 04:40 PM
    Friendship? In your own words: "I guess I thought he was more interested in me than he was."

    At any rate you acted like someone in high school and he is responding in like.

    Where is your husband in all of this and, more importantly, where is the office manager? I managed a law firm. This conduct would have resulted in at least one warning and probably a termination.

    Why do you care what he says and does?
    Jewel80's Avatar
    Jewel80 Posts: 9, Reputation: 1
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    #16

    Feb 19, 2013, 05:13 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by JudyKayTee View Post
    Friendship? In your own words: "I guess I thought he was more interested in me than he was."

    At any rate you acted like someone in high school and he is responding in like.

    Where is your husband in all of this and, more importantly, where is the office manager? I managed a law firm. This conduct would have resulted in at least one warning and probably a termination.

    Why do you care what he says and does?
    So what if I noticed and liked his interest? Let me make my point crystal clear. I offered and expected and wanted in return friendship, nothing more. Where my husband is in all this is the man I love and am married to. The thing in work was flirty and fun, followed by really wanting to be there for him as a friend.
    Ever since I mentioned I have a high IQ you seem to be trying to catch me out and your replies are becoming more and more aggressive. I didn't react negatively to your lack of tact because I thought you were genuinely trying to help me. I then realised you were continuously missing the main point.
    I can see that you are a very angry person and quite negative. I'm sorry for whatever is going on in your life but I think, unless you change your increasingly negative attitude towards me, that your 'advice' is going to be tainted by this anger JudyKayTee. I wish you all the best but please don't answer me again.
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #17

    Feb 19, 2013, 06:10 PM
    I too am stuck on "I guess I thought he was more interested in me than he was," and "I admit I was a bit attracted to him as well as wanting to be friends."

    I still think that you liked all the attention and even the possibility that he was interested in more than an office flirtation, but denied it to yourself the minute he went through his routine with your co-worker, and that the conversation about your husband was designed to be overheard by him.

    It's possible that his actions weren't based on being scared away by your 'I'm here for you as a friend.' It's possible that it was exactly the opposite, that he was expecting you two to jump into an affair. The more I think about it, the more I think he thinks you were leading him on. And that you were.

    You wanted advice. My advice isn't so much about being more worldly as it is to get to know yourself better. I think you are pulling the wool over your own eyes.

    We know nothing about the situation you were in when depressed, how long it lasted, whether it was during your marriage or before, how your husband dealt with it - another whole ball of wax. Depression that is not situational is very rare. Perhaps your marriage isn't all wonderful, and that's part of these goings-on at work.

    I just drew two conclusions about you (fooling yourself and marriage not so great), based solely on what you write here, or leave out. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #18

    Feb 19, 2013, 06:23 PM
    Talking about my husband on purpose - you are also right about that. I did that because I could see he saw my offer of friendship as more of a proposition than it was meant to be. I was embarrassed by his reaction and I regretted even wanting to be his friend and I wanted to get the message across to him that I'm not interested in him that way and that he is 'safe' from me.
    Recently I have being feeling emotionally closer to him and sent him a message that I saw us as friends and that I was there for him and he could trust me.
    I admit I was a bit attracted to him as well as wanting to be friends with him but after that display, I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole.
    I guess I thought he was more interested in me than he was. He was doing all the flirty stuff, talking to me about stuff going on on his life, the eye staring thing and hinting that things were not going well in his marriage
    .

    That, and other parts of your posts, pretty much says it all.

    Here's my take on this. You flirted with him just as much as he flirted with you. You admit to being attracted to him. You sent a message, he turned up the heat, that scared you, and now you're confused, maybe a bit ashamed because you were attracted to him, and you possibly saw yourself cheating on your husband with this man.

    You played with fire, and you got burned. Thankfully you got burned in a way that hopefully woke you up to the fact that married people don't do the sort of thing you're doing.
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,505, Reputation: 4600
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    #19

    Feb 19, 2013, 06:45 PM
    I am not negative nor am I angry. You asked a question, added more detail, and then tripped yourself up with more and more details and information. As has been very clearly pointed out you yourself don't know how you feel about this man.

    Please don't attempt to dictate who will and who will not answer your questions. I'm not here posting my personal problems and asking advice. You are.

    I'm sorry you're depressed. I'm sorry you had this conversation with a co-worker who then turned on you. My suggestion - tell your husband exactly what happened, how you are feeling, clear your conscience and move on.

    And, oh, I don't confuse love and friendship.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #20

    Feb 19, 2013, 06:58 PM
    So what if I noticed and liked his interest?
    You're married.

    Let me make my point crystal clear. I offered and expected and wanted in return friendship, nothing more.
    This doesn't jibe with this:

    I guess I thought he was more interested in me than he was.
    I admit I was a bit attracted to him as well as wanting to be friends with him but after that display, I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole
    We can only go by what you write. What you've written, if you leave out all the "I have a medical reason for this, I was confused, I didn't realize" stuff, is that you were attracted to him, you tried to pretend you were only interested in a friendship. You wrote him an email, you tell us that it was only to offer friendship. The next day he turned up the heat, and now you "wouldn't touch him with a barge pole", whereas before you were apparently considering it.

    I get why you're here. You want to pretend you're the victim so that your thoughts of being unfaithful to your husband, your flirting, your emails to another man, fade into the background. You want someone to say "what a jerk, I can't believe he reacted this way to your offer of friendship". You don't want people to point out the facts, facts you yourself wrote.

    Not happening. You see, we're pretty smart too.

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