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Advice on friend in closet situation

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by Liza95, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. Liza95

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    Hello,
    First let me say Hi as I’ve been reading on this site for a few years, prior to coming out (last year!) and now navigating a difficult situation.

    I befriended a teammate around 1.5 years ago. We instantly became very close, and I could tell there was sexual tension and chemistry. After I came out, she began to seek me out more and we became closer friends. She revealed to me that she was in the closet (I’m out—but still newly out), and we continued to be friends. We ended up having sex for a few months, but then we eventually stopped having sex and switched back to being close friends. She did not want to continue having sex because she said she only wants to date men. Our friendship was very intimate in terms of what we shared, and we held a deep level of vulnerability and openness with one another. I personally think we became more emotionally intimate after we stopped being physically intimate.

    While forming this close friendship, she did display a lot of push/pull behaviors which I always attributed to her own struggles with her sexuality. We had some conversations around all of this at first, but as time went on it became the elephant in the room. Recently, she told me that she doesn’t want to be my friend anymore as I’m pushing her into a relationship. I 100% do not think I have pressured her, and was really caught off guard by this statement. I considered her to be one of my best friends, and she was someone I fell in love with. I’m really having a hard time with all of this, but especially feel hurt because we were such good friends. It also really bothered me that it ended via text after being in each other’s lives for so long.

    Now she is ignoring me and it seems like she is also avoiding me (she hasn’t been to any of our off-season practices or hangs). I haven’t messaged her much, but I have reached out in a very non-pressurey way once or twice. I know that we will have to interact at some point, since we are on the same sports team (currently off-season) and I just want things to be normal. Since we are in the same team, we share lots of mutual friends, so I just want to be able to go to team picnics, etc and be normal with her. Last weekend one of our friends hosted a game night with a few of us, and she was the only person who didn’t come.

    From reading stories on here, I know it is similar to so many other situations that others have experienced. I guess it is reassuring to know others have went through this and just looking for general advice on how to move foreword. There is just something extremely heartbreaking about knowing the reason someone doesn’t want you in your life due to their own journey towards acceptance. It makes me feel very sad about the situation and compassionate towards her and what she is experiencing right now. But I am also hurt by the actions she has taken.

    Anyway, I guess I’m just looking for words of encouragement or advice on if there is anything I should do? If you found yourself in this situation (as the out or non out person), what would have helped you? If this happened to you, is there anything you would have done differently looking back at it all?

    Specifically, if you were the non-out person, is there anything that would have made you want to rekindle the friendship? Do you think she will avoid and ignore me forever?
     
  2. QuietPeace

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    Welcome to EC, I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time with this.

    I think that the best thing that you can do is to give her time and space. She has made it pretty clear that she wants the space, you have nothing to gain by pressuring her (even if it is just you trying to be regular friends she is likely to feel pressured at this point). If you give her enough space she might come around, and if she does not that is her decision (and I understand that this is not what you would want but it is her decision).

    I was in a vaguely similar situation, I had a close friend who I really thought was flirting with me. I decided to ask her out (she is out as bisexual), she freaked. She is not interested in any sort of dating or any sort of relationship at all and I misunderstood our situation. She avoided me for months, even avoiding group activities that we both normally participated in. It took almost a year of me leaving her completely alone for our friendship to recover even a little.

    I am unsure about being the nonout person, I am out as far as my orientation but not as far as my birth assignment and that is a different thing. How long she will avoid you is a mystery. It is up to her and how she is going to deal with who she is. Giving her space is the best option for you, if and when she is ready she will indicate it.
     
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  3. Liza95

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    Thank you for your reply. You are right, time and space are the only things that I can do in this situation. I normally understand that is what I should do, but sometimes it is hard to remember that. I am glad I have this thread, so I can come back to it when I feel upset by the situation to remind me that is the best choice.
     
  4. dirtyshirt84

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    Sorry that you are having a hard time. This does seem a pretty common thing to read about on here, especially for women.

    Do you still have feelings for your friend? Just wondering if you still have some hope that something might happen?

    I think giving her some time and space is a good idea. Hopefully she will contact you when the time is right and she feels ready.

    I would say that it later on down the line if she does get back and touch and only wants a friendship, make sure you maintain clear boundaries so that it doesn’t get confusing for you and you don’t end up going through something similar again.
     
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  5. Liza95

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    Hi,
    Thank you for your response. Yes, I still have feelings for my friend and I do have hope that something might happen. I want her to accept herself for her because she is a great person and I can see how it hurts her by not loving that part of her. I know that she has to do that on her own though. I just wish there was something I could do to help. Her pushing me away makes me think that she must really be struggling with all of this right now.

    I think you make a good point about clear boundaries. If we are able to be friends again and that is the only option, I think maybe less emotional intimacy will be helpful to keep it to a healthy level of friendship for myself.

    Thx again


     
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  6. BiGemini87

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    Welcome to EC! I'm so sorry you're going through this.

    I don't think I can add much to what's already been said: space is definitely a good idea for you both. I think it's probably best if you just cut contact cold-turkey; that way she has the space she needs to work through things. When you're back in your on-season, it's likely to be a little awkward, but at least then she can't expect distance from you, since you have to practice and play together as a team. With any luck, she'll come around on her own. To me, it doesn't sound like you've done anything wrong; it really does sound like she's still coming to terms with not being straight and that in turn, it's caused her to cut contact with you. Or perhaps she misconstrued your feelings as an absolute desire for a romantic relationship.

    Whatever the case, I do hope she eventually gives you the chance to talk things out and allow you to present your side of things. Perhaps the friendship can be salvaged, or perhaps it can't. It really comes down to what her reasons are and whether she opens up to you.
     
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  7. Liza95

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    Thank you for the welcome :slight_smile: okay, thank you for the advice. It is helpful to hear that space is the best answer, as it makes me feel stronger to give that.

    Yes, I really never wanted her to feel that way from me, and I wish she would have told me what I was making her feel so I could have tried to fix it before she pushed me away. If I knew what behaviors were making her feel like I was pushing for a relationship, I would have changed them or talked her through them .

    Ok, thx so much for the support. It is helpful to chat about it here as I can’t tell any of our mutual friends.


     
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  8. dirtyshirt84

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    It must be tough if your mutual friends (your team mates?) don’t know. I also just wanted to say I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong either, you sound like you were just acting on your feelings and unfortunately she is struggling with her sexuality.

    Hopefully after some space and time she’ll open up to you and at you will be able to remain friends if not more.
     
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  9. Liza95

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    it has been very hard not to talk to anyone because this has went on for so long, but I don’t want to our her and would never do that. A lot of mutual friends have made comments and have been suspicious though, which I think added to all of this pulling away too.

    I hope So too. Thx for the support.


     
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