Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rejection: Friends with Benefits (Must be Mutual)

Written  by Lauren of Love Kudos


I have quite a few guy friends, some of which are former flings or x-boyfriends. This particular guy did not fall into either of these categories. I really consider him just a platonic friend. Jasper* and I have been friends for a few months and is a few years younger than me.  When we first met, I was in a relationship, so he was not given the opportunity to pursue me. In recent months, with my official single status, he has hinted that he finds me attractive and would be open to hooking up. Although, I do find him attractive, I do not want to ever cross that line. On occasion, we go out in group outings for happy hours and engage in athletic activities one-on-one. We share dating disaster stories and also romantic conquests.

By pure coincidence, I happened to have a Saturday night with nothing scheduled and neither did Jasper. We decided to go to see a movie and maybe go to my pool afterwards. He asked me via text what I liked for dessert. Normally, I would say chocolate, but I am trying to reduce my chocolate intake and so I texted back, "Strawberries." The movie theater was just a few blocks from my place. Even though it was in close proximity, he insisted on picking me up from my place and then bought my movie ticket (even after I offered twice). In the theater, he said a few things in my ear to indicate this was not the typical friends sharing popcorn and watching a movie night. My body tensed up and told him that I really just thought of him as a friend. It was very awkward for a little while, but eventually I started to relax. I was certain that I would not have to repeat the "We are just friends" speech again after that. I was wrong of course.

When we got back to my place after the movie, it was really too late to go to the pool and I realized that might have been why he thought movie night out was code for "Let's get it on." I told him I no longer wanted to go for a swim. I said, "You can come up for a few minutes to walk Chloe (my dog), it is up to you." He accepts and then asks about dessert. It kind of had slipped my mind, but I was definitely up for some luscious strawberries. He goes to his car and returns with a little cooler containing a bottle of champagne, strawberries, and you probably guessed it, whipped cream. Well, if this was a date, that would have been a nice gesture, and definitely created a romantic mood. However, this just created an extremely uncomfortable situation. He told me how he had experienced some disappointments with women that week and relayed a story to me which showed me he was not keen on picking up disinterest from women. Persistence is a great trait in business and can be with love. You have to be perceptive. It was at this point that he asked me to make out with him. Normally, I might have been flattered, but after I thought I had already set the boundaries previously, I was annoyed. I told him clearly that there would be no making out or anything involving getting naked. He did not take this verbal rejection well. He made attempts to leave, but I convinced him to stay and offered to be a good friend to listen to his plight and try to help him. We ended up watching the last half of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and conversing through most of it.

Jasper was not interested in having a relationship with me, but still wanted more than I was willing to give. He did not handle the rejection with dignity and reacted in haste. Eventually, he accepted the friendship and gave up his desire for "Friends with Benefits." 

How could Jasper have handled the situation better?

Choice 1) He could have indicated prior to meeting for the movies that he wanted this to be a date and there could have been a discussion about expectations for the night. This could have completely avoided the entire awkward scene at my place.

Choice 2) When I indicated at the movie that I wanted to be just friends and he wanted more, he could have accepted it and not come up to my place after the movie.

I do feel fortunate that we were able to get past that incident and move forward with a platonic friendship. Many male / female friendships have to overcome sexual tension hurdles before they reach common ground.

 Back to article on how to handle rejection in dating with dignity and integrity.

1 comment: said...

You need to have an open communication when it comes to relationships.

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