General Question

Ammolite's avatar

How can I resolve this social conflict?

Asked by Ammolite (72 points ) July 28th, 2010

I could use a little friendly insight on a situation that’s been eating at me for awhile.

I’m in a very deeply satisfying relationship with my Fiance. We aren’t very social people who have tons of friends, but have recently taken joy in the occasional party outside with our neighbors, one of whom became an actual acquaintance/friend. We took them out to a bar once, even, and have hung out at our places together on many occasions. It’s been nice, light-hearted change of pace every now and again, especially considering we get so lazy and reclusive at times.

I tend to get hit on by a few of the guys at the parties, but never this friend, which I appreciated. This person always seemed more interested in our friendship, and barely paid me any attention in a male-vs-female way. I was relieved by this, and felt basic security in having them around us.

A few nights ago, the man and I were out by our community pool with these people, when I was left alone with this friend for awhile. Everyone there was slightly tipsy, but not drunk enough to be impaired. I was in the pool, swimming about (in a flattering, but not too slutty one-piece bathing suit), and he was sitting outside several feet away. We were having a rather personal conversation about his ex-wife and their situation, and I was offering input, when somehow, the subject of the conversation segued into being about how he is intrigued by me. I didn’t expect it at all, and had all my guards down. He finds me mysterious/alluring, as I tend to be a quiet person and we’ve only actually had a real conversation a few times. I initially stated how surprised I was by this crush, that I didn’t get that impression, but being the nosy, forward person that I am, I began asking questions about it further. Before I knew it, he was regaling me with how “beautiful” and “young” I am, and how I seem to “do whatever I want”, and how “coy” I am. Oh, and the whole while, giving me lovestruck eyes. I’d drop kindly that it’s nice to have a friend we trust, and all, slightly downplaying what we were discussing, but I’d get evil soonafter, and begin making the kid uncomfortable with very direct questions.

Long story short, by the end of the night, my Fiance was on the phone threatening to injure this guy (ahem, tear his throat open). Part of me felt badly, as I could’ve swiftly shut this guy up if I wanted, but I guess I was amused and fascinated by his seemingly spontaneous crush and by extracting information from him. Also, the balls on this guy—for hitting on me, when his own friend is engaged to me. That alone gave me license to prod and to be reasonably evil.

My man ran into him the other night, and he apologized profusely, to the point of embarrassment and annoyance—so I hear, though I wasn’t there. He then, later, got absolutely sh-tfaced drunk, almost fell over, and told my man, “F- you” when he had offered to help the guy up.

The whole saga’s lingered on my mind for days, though, as I feel like we haven’t resolved anything. I still feel really uncomfortable about the conversation we shared. I still don’t know whether his crush is legitimate, and something I need to worry about, or whether it was an admitted mistake. I still don’t know if this person is our trustworthy friend or not, or if that’s history.

How should I go about this? I don’t want to personally phone this guy, or go to his apt. (neighbor), but I wish to speak to him in-person, alone, to decipher the situation better and be very upfront. At the same time, I don’t want to upset my man or make him worry/get jealous.

Any insight/advice?

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23 Answers

mrentropy's avatar

” At the same time, I don’t want to upset my man or make him worry/get jealous.”

Don’t talk to him alone.

Unless it’s the thrill of hearing more about yourself that you’re after. In that case, you probably won’t have a fiancée for very long.

syz's avatar

Your description sounds like flirting to me. Why do you need to “decipher the situation better”? Send him a note stating that he misread the situation and that you have no interest in him other than friendship and then keep your distance until things cool down.

Ammolite's avatar

I always feel the need to decipher the situation better, when people hit me with weird statements and personality changes, after they’ve been acting a certain way for weeks/months/years.

And if simply asking someone plainly why they like you after barely knowing you is flirting….if anything, it should make the other person feel stupid for looking so desperate.

mrentropy's avatar

@Ammolite According to your question he already told you why he liked you. Why prod any further?

syz's avatar

Hey, you ask a question in a public forum, you may not like the answer. Had I found myself in such an inappropriate situation, I would have said something to the effect of “Silly man, I’m happily engaged. Oh, look, snacks!” and then gotten the hell out of Dodge.

Austinlad's avatar

@syz, This is the best response to this question I can imagine—on all counts. BRAVO!

escapedone7's avatar

You cannot just fix this and resume the old friendship as it was. Consider the feelings of your significant other here. The most you can hope to achieve is, hopefully, the ability to come and go while passing this guy outside and bumping into him randomly without any hostility or awkwardness. Now if that is your goal, just so you can continue to live where you do without drama, then perhaps simply not speaking anymore may be the best answer.

So to answer at least one part of your question ”.. I still don’t know if this is our trustworthy friend or not… or if that is history”....

MAKE it history.

truecomedian's avatar

Do not pursue him, he’s displaying predatory behavior. Something he did or said struck a nerve with you and your being drawn in. Cut him off totally, pull up, think of your fiance, seriously, it’s not cool to get your man caught up in some bullshit. Then again, he didn’t do anything like try and touch you, he was only complimenting you, with a well honed sweet talk that enraged your future husband. I think you should be angry at this guy, I mean, “how dare he” This all assuming you love your man for real, and have only found yourself in a very tough situation. I am in a tough spot of my own, hope you get through yours and learn something valuable.

Coloma's avatar

Sounds to me like you might be a little more interested in still getting attention from another man than might bide well for being engaged.

I’m with @syz

Prying for ‘more’ is a sign that you enjoyed this encounter a little too much for your relationship status.

Dunk your ego into a big fat bucket of ice water and be done with this stupid situational drama.

Bottom line, if a person is serious about their relationship they run like hell from any obvious flirtations.

chyna's avatar

I’d stay away from him. There is no need to “clarify” further the situation. He has a crush, you wanted compliments, your fiance was mad so what is there to clarify? I would make sure not to be around him drinking at any poolside parties either. Tempers can flare, as you already said they did when your boyfriend met up with him at a later time.

truecomedian's avatar

He’s just a swinger like Larry from Three’s Company.

evandad's avatar

It doesn’t qualify as social conflict. Just an old man who made a fool of himself over a young woman.

hug_of_war's avatar

I am most disturbed that your fiancé threatened to cut his throat, that is a way overreaction.

jonsblond's avatar

Also, the balls on this guy—for hitting on me, when his own friend is engaged to me. That alone gave me license to prod and to be reasonably evil

That wasn’t balls, it was a dick selfish thing for him to do, and something a true friend wouldn’t do.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes, I have insight. When your conversation with him changed to one that was about his romantic feelings toward you, you should have removed yourself from the conversation and gone home. You continued to talk and encourage him. Now you say you want to talk to him about it some more. You say you want to know where it stands—you are the one that can create where it stands—being that it doesn’t. You had the opportunity to quash the whole thing immediately and did not. You let it continue until your fiance and guy got into it. I think you are quite enjoying the whole thing. Shame on you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The “friend” saw you in a bathing suit and wanted to get into your pants. Unfortunately, you played along. You could/should have changed the subject or told him that was not appropriate immediately.
Is your fiance going to have to worry about this from now on or will you admit you learned a lesson and move on?

josie's avatar

You are now officially creating a conflict. This stuff about wanting to decipher the situation is just bullshit for “I want more”.

jca's avatar

if i were you i would not write him notes or approach him, i would leave the whole thing alone. i agree with the people who say you seem to like the attention. how did your fiance find out what happened between you and this guy? you must have told him.

when someone brings up how they like you, you are not supposed to sit there and engage them in the conversation. you are supposed to leave, or remind them that you are taken. so many people have answered this in ways that indicate that you are wrong and continue to be wrong by wanting to delve further into this topic with the man. let it go – unless you want to risk your relationship with your fiance.

john65pennington's avatar

Well, you write a long story and here is a short answer. leave well-enough alone. if you value your fiance’s love for you, walk away from the entire situation. i feel you are “thilled” because of the attention and it coming from an unexpeced source. there will be trouble on the horizon if you pursue this person to any further lenght. your fiance deserves more respect. if you act this way now, what is the future holding, if you do get married? don’t let the temptation of a “pool-side” silver tongue ruin your upcoming marriage. the ball is in your corner and like i said, just walk away from it.

mammal's avatar

i think your SO needs to have few nights out on his own and discus the situation with some deeply attentive and attractive women in a bar or someplace discreet :) that ought to solve it.

Jabe73's avatar

Your fiance had every right to be pissed off. No true “friend” would do this. I agree with @jonsblond the most here. Wow! The “balls” to be a disrepectful idiot. What a turn on. This question has an easy answer which you already know the solution to. Seems you are enjoying the drama.

truecomedian's avatar

Sounds like an episode of Melrose Place.

Aster's avatar

@syz oh , that really Was a terrific answer. She should reconsider getting married.

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