General Question

StealthyQueries's avatar

A question mostly for the guys, but if any ladies can read men like books, it's for you too.

Asked by StealthyQueries (18 points ) April 15th, 2009

Guys: you are impossible to figure out sometimes. So I’m going to present you with a scenario. Say you’re in a relationship with a girl—but you don’t really think there’s anything there anymore, and you don’t really want to be in that relationship—you’re just going through the motions because you can’t figure out a way to end it peacefully. And say that you meet another girl who’s in the exact same situation. You become friendly with this girl, chat with her every day. In your daily chatting, you find out you have so many strange things in common, right down to something you thought you were the only person alive who had this certain quirk.

So you flirt a bit. You talk a bit more. You share very personal information. You tell her things that only your current girlfriend knows. You trust her implicitly, and you tell her so. She’s told you she trusts you implicitly. You’re pretty close friends at this point.

ALRIGHT. Back to the girl’s point of view. She’s into this guy. He flirts when his girlfriend isn’t around, and you flirt when your boyfriend isn’t around. Yeah, you both know it’s not right, but you’ve also talked about it and you’ve both established that neither one of you is really in the relationship, and since you’re only verbally flirting, it’s not all that serious. She thinks he just sees her as a friend… a good friend… one he can have fun with and be flirty and everything’s okay. Then all of a sudden, one day, he wants to talk about more intimate things. He asks intimate questions, and tells her intimate things about himself. Really intimate. Both are pretty turned on by the conversation, and both have acknowledged it, but that’s as far as it goes. No propositioning, no “I wish I could blahblah with you” or any of that stuff.

Now for the question: How does he feel? She doesn’t want to ruin how they interact now by throwing a serious “where are we” question out on the table. Obviously you can’t speak for this guy, but speaking from a man’s point of view, if you have a close female friend, do you speak so intimately with her? Or would you only get that intimate if you had feelings for her?

I’m a known member of Fluther. I’ve been here for nearly a year at the very least. However, the person I’m asking about knows I post here and would recognize my name.

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40 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Personally, I would only have those types of conversations with a female friend if I had feelings for her beyond “friends”.

Now this guy may be so out of touch with his own feelings, that he my not even realize he has these feelings – but I’m betting he does.

The girl, if she’s interested in a more-than-friends relationship with this guy, should request he end things with his current girlfriend first. No need to overcomplicate this.

Now if he is unwilling (or too chicken shit) to do that, you may have have to end the friendship if he keeps sharing such intimate things.

It could only end badly at that point.

filmfann's avatar

If your description is correct, you should approach him. Have him leave his current girlfriend, and try a relationship with you. If he truly doesn’t have an emotional connection with her, he will.
Some guys, though, use this kind of intimate talk as flirting, so if he doesn’t leave her, he was playing you.
Don’t be afraid of scaring him off. Just don’t come on like gangbusters and you will be fine, and know the truth.
Honestly, I never understood the whole staying with someone you don’t care about thing. When I was dating, if the feelings weren’t there, I moved on.

elijah's avatar

Sometimes a guy (or girl) says whatever it is the new person wants to hear in order to progress the new relationship to a sexual point. Maybe he has no intention of leaving his current GF.
Maybe he is being completely honest about it and he is ready to leave his current relationship. He is saying things to test the water and see if he should jump.
If you feel uncomfortable just tell him the truth. You are interested, but can not let things progress until he (and you) end your current relationships.
I have been in this situation, and although I believe it is wrong to start a new relationship while still in another, sometimes it just happens. It’s more wrong to lead your partner on when your heart isn’t there. You really have to think about it though, because sometimes you think you don’t want to stay in that relationship when all you really need is to fix underlying problems. That’s why you were seeking attention from others in the first place. Your relationship is broken, do you want to fix it or cut ties and move forward?

dynamicduo's avatar

It’s clear as raisins that the guy wants to either get with the girl for real, or to have the best of both worlds and play around without any commitment, or to play while having a trump card in the pocket (“I’ll go tell your boyfriend…”).

There’s no way the guy would be saying these intimate things without a desire to become closer. I can almost guarantee you that the guy does NOT “just see her as a friend”.

And I know you didn’t ask for this, but I can’t not say it. I take a big objection to this line: “you’ve also talked about it and you’ve both established that neither one of you is really in the relationship, and since you’re only verbally flirting, it’s not all that serious”. If it’s not that serious, why do you both not flirt in front of your respective partners? Because you know in your heart that it’s wrong. You are emotionally cheating, just because it’s not physical doesn’t mean it’s not cheating.

The respectful, high road thing to do in this situation is for both people to end their dead relationships and to give being together a shot. Not just the guy, but you too. You are treating your partners with disrespect by not letting them go find true happiness elsewhere. I also agree completely with @elijahsuicide.

qualitycontrol's avatar

I love you too, mable.

StealthyQueries's avatar

@dynamicduo – I understand the way the line you pointed out sounded, and yes, we both do feel bad. For the most part, we don’t flirt in front of them because one of the biggest gripes we both have about our relationships is that we are SO SICK OF CONFLICTS. We are sick of fighting over stupid little things, so that we avoid any type of conflict, whether they would have a valid complaint or not. Does that make any sense?

I should also mention that there is hesitation because we live several states apart. We couldn’t carry on a normal relationship. I should have added that, but I didn’t want to muck up what was already becoming a saga!

As for fixing underlying problems, like elijahsuicide pointed out, we both feel like it’s just irreconcilable differences, basically. We both know that the whole thing is a giant mess, but we’re BOTH too chickenshit to leave who we’re with.

Oh, and I also need to point out one thing: He’s not trying to string anybody along or play the best of both worlds. That’s one thing I’m 100% confident of. I can tell he sort of “dipped his toe in the water” so to speak with this whole thing. He’s being extremely cautious. Trouble is, I can’t figure out if he’s being cautious because he doesn’t know what he wants, or if it’s because he doesn’t want me to think there’s something there when there isn’t, while at the same time, wanting to remain friends and not ruin what we’ve built already.

Am I making any sense?

qualitycontrol's avatar

I would stay friends. Sounds like you guys are having a good time being friends and are both seeing things as people outside of a relationship with each other. Once you get in it could be different. Also, how long until he feels nothing for you? Is this someone you would be confident being in a relationship with?

cwilbur's avatar

It sounds to me like there’s definite interest, but that he knows that acting on that definite interest would cause the whole situation to explode. And so he’s limiting how far he lets it go.

qualitycontrol's avatar

…wait a minute, raisins aren’t clear

filmfann's avatar

If you guys are several states apart, and there is no chance of maintaining a relationship at that distance, I don’t understand why you’re considering this

StealthyQueries's avatar

@filmfann: I said a NORMAL relationship. I’m not opposed to a long distance thing. I’m also not opposed to moving should things become serious.

_bob's avatar

Sounds like your guy’s about to make a move. My advice would be, get ready to dump the boyfriend, and turn up the flirting a bit (so as to signal that you’re actually into him, not just flirting innocently).

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Maybe you should dump your boyfriend… let’s face it, if you and your current boy toy aren’t living together, there’s no reason not to end it now, it’ll be messy regardless if you’ve been together for a long time, and the same goes for your other guy. It seems, on both your parts, that this is a case of being afraid to make the first move, because if by chance the other party didn’t end up breaking it off with their respective S/O they feel it’s worse to be alone than with someone and miserable. Dump the schmuck, tell your new schmuck to dump his sheschmuck, and let yourselves be happy for once…

that’s the best advice I can give you. take a chance, live a little.

cookieman's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: Lurve for “sheschmuck”.

Jack79's avatar

I don’t get the question to be honest. Men are proverbially simplistic in their way of thinking. You already described how he feels. That’s it. No onion.

If there is any way you two could be together (are you even geographically close?) then he’ll gladly dump his old gf for you. If not, he’ll stay in that relationship, wishing he were with you instead. And get whatever he can from you (chat, flirt, understanding, anything).

StealthyQueries's avatar

@Jack: Yeah, but that’s the thing. I don’t know if he would want to be with me, or if he just likes flirting with me because it makes him feel good, or if he has feelings for me and doesn’t want to act on them, or if he has no feelings at all, etc. There are about a million ways what he’s doing could be interpreted.

ru2bz46's avatar

You are both effectively cheating on your respective schmucks already, so you should break it off with them before this new thing goes any further.

He is not seeing this as an innocent flirtacious thing; if you were next door, instead of several states away, he’d be knocking on your door for a booty call right now. Who knows if he’d want any more than that, but the damage is already done.

Now, let’s say you two get together. Since he has already shown that he is willing to sneak around with you behind his girlfriend’s back, you will have good reason to suspect that he’s sneaking around on you as soon as you two are not talking as much. And vice versa. Is this any way to start a relationship?

elijah's avatar

@ru2bz46 it is not true that if someone cheated on one person they will always cheat. If the relationship is already dead then both people in that relationship already know it. They have just chosen not to deal with it.
Some people will always cheat, because they are insecure and always need gratification.
Some people cheat when they really aren’t in love anymore.
Some people never cheat at all.
I agree they should break up because she isn’t in love. This other guy might be worth it, maybe not. He isn’t guaranteed to do the same thing to her.

ru2bz46's avatar

@elijahsuicide I didn’t say that either of them will cheat, but they will have reason to suspect that the other is cheating. The past doesn’t necessarily dictate the futrue, but it gives a reasonable hint.

poofandmook's avatar

@ru2bz46: I don’t agree with that at all. Just because he’s lost interest in his current girlfriend and (possibly) found interest in this new girl, that doesn’t make him a cheater. Maybe he wants to be sure before he makes a leap he’s already struggling with?

elijah's avatar

@ru2bz46 I’m sorry I thought you were implying he most likely would. You are right, it will always be in her head. All she has to remember is that anyone can cheat at some point, and even if she chooses some guy who says he never cheated before doesn’t mean she is safe from it.

ru2bz46's avatar

@poofandmook They are both in current relationships, and they are both talking to someone else and considering making “the leap”. They are doing this behind the backs of their respective SO’s. They are cheating.

poofandmook's avatar

@ru2bz46: Maybe… I’ve been in a dead relationship before. I think it changes things. Don’t know.

poofandmook's avatar

@ru2bz46: Either way, this girl isn’t asking whether or not she’s cheating. It’s sort of irrelevant to the topic.

ru2bz46's avatar

@poofandmook Being in a dead relationship and looking outside is still unfair to the current SO. If you want to go elsewhere, end the current relationship first. The fact that they are possibly starting a new relationship by cheating on their current SO’s is relevant.

cookieman's avatar

Gotta agree with the beaver.

At this point, they should end the current relationships before moving on.

Hedging your bets to see if the other person will do it first seems odd to me.
So if the new guy decides not to end the current relationship and be with you, you…what? Stay in the “dead relationship” with your current SO as a consolation prize. Seems a little cowardly.

I would take this situation as a clue that it’s time to move on from the current SO regardless of the outcome with the new guy.

of course, it would be great if it works out with the new guy and they live “happily ever after” – but this isn’t a Meg Ryan movie

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Neither person has the balls to end their current relationships… that’s only causing trouble. End them and move on.. then talk about this new relationship.

Oh… from the guy’s perspective… he could be many things.. depends on the guy… he could be just wanting sex.. he could be genuinely interested in a new relationship.. we aren’t carbon copies.. we’re all a bit different.

DREW_R's avatar

Have fun, enjoy each other and if it comes to meeting go from there.

DrBill's avatar

It is best to be up front and honest.

You should not consider starting another relationship if you are in one. Break up first, then move on.

StealthyQueries's avatar

It’s not just about sex. We’re not near each other. We can’t have sex.

My question was not about the current significant others. I didn’t ask if you thought it was cheating, and I didn’t ask anything about breaking up with the current. I asked specifically about the likelihood of deeper feelings based on the information I provided. Your answers could determine my next move, which could very well include a breakup. So, please just stick to the question at hand. Thank you.

ru2bz46's avatar

@StealthyQueries Yes, he most likely has deeper feelings for you. We tend to be more direct that way. If we think there’s a chance, we will play our cards in a fashion to make it more realistic. The fantasy alone is not enough for us (in general).

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@StealthyQueries imho It’s not wise or healthy for you to completely base such a decision on fluther answers. Relationships don’t stay between the lines… by that I mean they are all different.. what someone tells you here could be excellent advice for someone else and terrible advice for you.. At some point you just make a choice and live with the consequences.

Based on your last post I guess “your friend” = you? I’m not trying to scold you or anything weird like that… I just like to answer these questions as if the asker is my friend.. if you were my friend and you asked me this.. my last post (and this) is what I’d tell you. Take it or leave it, that’s fine.. I just give out my honest opinion regardless of the receptivity of the person asking the question.

StealthyQueries's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: I didn’t mean to say that my decision was going to be based wholly on Fluther answers. With that being said, if I don’t know what to think, and 10 men answer this question, and maybe 8 of them say he probably has feelings for me and 2 say no, that gives me a bit more confidence to do what I’ve wanted to do all along, and that’s see if I can get some answers from the guy.

I referred a lot in third person, but the people I’m asking about are me and my friend. I know, that was confusing. But this whole thing is confusing. Right down to nearly posting under my usual Fluther name a few times.

This whole thing has really put me into an emotional jam. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m flying, and other times I feel sick to my stomach. I just want it all to be over. Hopefully positively in a new direction.

I also know that many of you think what I’m doing to my current SO is terrible. But without knowing all the backstory, such as things that precipitated the “death” of the relationship, it’s not right for anyone to judge. I think it’s safe to say that all four of us have made mistakes here. I’m not denying that. But again, that’s not what I asked.

Dr_C's avatar

I’ve neverbeen in that situation but i can see where you’re coming from.
I would think your guy is really into you and probably does want to pursue it. Some impetus may be needed and initiation is obviously not his strong suit (can’t bring himself to have the talk with his current GF).
Give it some time.. if it’s something you both want you’ll figure something out.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@StealthyQueries Great, you just came for advice! Yeah that’s different.. you had me worried at first. =)

Relationships are a fun/tough/confusing/awesome thing I know. I hope you are able to figure it out in that positive new direction! Either way.. time will tell.. and will also heal. As a matter of fact.. time heals all wounds but age. =)

SeventhSense's avatar

I should also mention that there is hesitation because we live several states apart.

So you’re in a relationship that’s going nowhere contemplating one that has little potential?
It sounds like you have a fear of intimacy and/or just like the drama. There’s less emotional investment and it seems more risky and fun. I’m guessing that you’re young.
So why not just stop playing serious and have fun.

As to how the guy feels? A guy want to get with any women that he talks intimately with. Talking is not a goal in and of itself for us men. To talk deeply and intimately with a woman and not be deeply intimate with her is like a guy going out to a night club to just dance. It just doesn’t compute. Unless of course you’re this guy

Nially_Bob's avatar

To directly answer the question, yes, I think males can discuss particularly intimate details with females without being attracted to them but it’s rare. My best and closest friend is a female and we’ve discussed everything from plates to erotic sex but I think alot of that derives from the fact that we perceive one another more as siblings than friends.
In the circumstances that you have described I would assume that both people involved are attracted to one another based upon the statement “He asks intimate questions, and tells her intimate things about himself. Really intimate. Both are pretty turned on by the conversation, and both have acknowledged it” if nothing else.

Haleth's avatar

@StealthyQueries -
@Nially_Bob is right, it is awesome to have candid discussions with a guy friend if you’re not interested in each other. The key is, neither of you gets turned on when that happens. It sounds like this guy has been into you from the start, because the friendship between you started as a flirtation. This whole situation is really unfair to his current girlfriend, though. I feel so bad that he doesn’t want to be in the relationship, and that he told you of all people- the new girl that he’s interested in. What I’m getting at is that he sounds like no prince charming.

LuhvKiller's avatar

I feel like the girl should just be up front. First of all if she’s with a dude she dont care about she should leave! Dont leave him just because you want that other dude. Leave him for yourself. She needs to ask the guy what his intentions are with her and if they aint worth a damn…dont waste your time. LEAVE HIM ALONE. Its cheatin anywayz doin it behind somebody’s back. I’m a firm believer of what goes around comes around. And believe me it will. He probably bein flirty cause at the moment thats kinda fun and its new so its just like a new toy you get. You play with that other one and it doesn’t do it for you anymore…you dont wanna give it away or throw it away cause you have too many memories with it. you know…

TheOnlyException's avatar

WOAH. I am in this situation. It feels so horrible and wonderful all at once.
You tell yourself that what you are doing is harmless, that it is just fun and you indulge yourself because you want to, because you can, you don’t NEED to.
But one day you wake up and find yourself thinking about that person. And this happens every morning until you are going to bed thinking about them having thought of no one else all day. Thats when the flirting has really hit home. Something has clicked in either just you or both of you and you want more, you suddenly NEED that person, you cannot help yourself, you dont know when the change happened, but it did and thats all that matters. When its both of you, its harder, because the desire is mutual, and you edge forward, closer to each other but not too close because you are tethered to others holding you back.
The question here is, are you prepared to take the risk and cut yourself loose for the other person? It could be one of two things, either the best or worst decision of your life.
When things start getting intimate, it gets difficult to ignore what is clearly going on between you. If you dont go for it, think about it, will you be sitting there in a few years regretting it, or will you have moved on? How deeply do you feel for him, and more importantly, does he feel the same, or is he just having fun. You can’t put yourself out there for someone who doesn’t really want you.

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