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Friendship not relationship offer

(126 Posts)
Lucyloo12 Thu 15-Apr-21 16:03:56

I have got myself into a bit of a muddle. I befriended a gentleman who is 15 years older than me. We go walking and I thought we were friends, however he now wants more. I have been very clear that friendship is the only thing I want but he says he has feelings for me. He said I have been very nice to him, more than his late wife, and he interpreted this as me wanting more. Today he said he may as well die as he doesn't want a relationship with anyone else. This makes me feel sick. He is lonely and wants me to replace his wife, I'm beginning to feel he is becoming selfish. He wants me to fill the void in his life though has no interest in what I want, or in this case dont. I'm getting irritated now as he tries emotional blackmail. What on earth can I do to stop this. I tried to tactfully tell him I'm not interested and try to encourage him to join clubs, online dating etc but he is so insistent I'm the one. I hate it and don't know what to do. Any Ideas?

micky987 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:07:30

“* He said I have been very nice to him, more than his late wife, and he interpreted this as me wanting more*”. Men are very good at reading messages where there are none. Many years ago I was briefly chatting to a man out of politeness on a night out with friends. Later on we accidentally caught each other’s eye across a huge dance floor so again out of politeness I gave a little wave as I knew he’d seen me, then turned my back. I had no interest in him at all. Later on he approached me again and said he knew I fancied him because I waved at him!?! No, I was just being courteous, silly me for leading him on (not). There’s lots of excellent advice on here. You have done nothing wrong by the sound of things. Please don’t feel guilty or let the emotional blackmail get to you. He is responsible for himself. He chooses his actions/thoughts/feelings etc. Therefore he’s choosing to put you in this position. You must choose to get out of it. You’ll be glad you did in the long run. 💐

sunnybean60 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:09:14

Oh dear, as soon as I read your message I had an uneasy feeling that was going to be the outcome. This happened to a friend of mine who tried all tactics to fend off unwanted advances from a dear old friend and in the she had to end the friendship completely.

Daisend1 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:10:57

This, without a doubt, is emotional blackmail..
Age Concern comes to mind in how to deal with this . 'pleeeese' for your sake waste no further time in getting in touch with them .

greenlady102 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:13:34


Run. Quite fast.


Tmeadow2 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:15:24

I think he is a very selfish man, only thinking of his own needs. Get rid of him.

Riggie Fri 16-Apr-21 11:15:55

Definitely. You could contact him by letter or email telling him you are doing that way rather than in person as he never listens when you speak. Then go on to say basically what you have told us. That you like his friendship but that is all you want.

If he ignores what you have said or tries more emotional blackmail then I think it is time to call it a day.

Mapleleaf Fri 16-Apr-21 11:15:57

As you've already tried the tactful route, Lucyloo12 and he's choosing to ignore that, then it's time to cut contact. No explanations, just stop meeting him for walks. If he has your phone number, then block it or change it. It's apparent from your post that he now makes you feel uncomfortable, so even trying to be just friends is not going to work with him. I know it seems blunt, but he appears resistant to any other method.

jaylucy Fri 16-Apr-21 11:16:06

It's not your fault that he is expecting more from you than friendship. Might have been a bit different if you hadn't told him that you just wanted to be a friend!
Sadly some men see kindness and spending time with some one means that you must want more - especially if the time that you have spent together has been going on for several months.
Stick to your guns and be brutal . Change or block however you used to contact each other. Change where you walk, or at least the time that you walk.
It will possibly take some time before he finally gets the message. If you feel this is too hard and you know his address, write a letter to him to explain again that you cannot see him as anything other than a friend .
Good Luck!

geekesse Fri 16-Apr-21 11:16:55

Widowers (and widows) who have been very dependent on their spouses have a sad tendency to look for a person who can fill the vacancy, rather than have normal friendly relationships with members of the opposite sex. And like all recruiting employers, if they spot someone they think would be suitable, they use all kinds of enticement to get the ‘candidate’ to accept the job.

I’d tell him he’s a sad old git and walk away. But then I’m not well known for beating about the bush.

sandelf Fri 16-Apr-21 11:19:08

Agree with everyone. As a pleasant friendship this has in fact already ended. Move on now.

Philippa111 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:20:45


He sounds hard work and heavy to be around. And how disappointing for you that a friend and walking partner turns out to be so unpleasant. Sorry, but I wouldn't want to even be a friend with someone who is so manipulative.. This behaviour of his... the emotional blackmail, says a big 'NO'. By saying he 'wants to die 'if he can't be with you is VERY manipulative. He is actively trying to make you responsible for his wellbeing, preying on your loving nature... that is a horrible thing to do and a huge burden to try to place on anyone.
You don't owe this man anything! As women we are often so afraid of hurting others but a man like this is not really interested in you as you. He can't hear and respect your boundaries. He's just interested in what you can provide him with.
I would tell him to contact the Samaritans if/when he feels he wants to die or contact Cruise who help people who are bereaved...and get out, quick!!

Breath deeply and let it go! He's just a blip in the grand scheme of your life.

Take yourself back and stay with the things and people you enjoy and talk to your friends and family.

sazz1 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:23:33

This friendship can't continue now he's decided he is exceptionally involved with you.
Just don't contact him again, don't answer his calls or texts and move on with your life. A clean break is the best way.

Witzend Fri 16-Apr-21 11:24:25

You’re going to have to be blunt, OP.
If he wants more than friendship, why doesn’t he try online dating services?

IMO it’s all too often difficult to have a purely platonic relationship with a man - unless he’s gay.

sazz1 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:27:26

Emotionally involved
predictive text!

chris8888 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:30:29

I agree with everyone emotional blackmail is not what you need in your life. I would simply send an email to Adult Care Service and maybe his GP saying he is threatening to hurt himself. Then walk away and cut contact.

Wizzywoo Fri 16-Apr-21 11:31:17

Emotional blackmail is controlling behaviour , you need to finish this relationship, hard as you are a kind person, but as others have said needs to be done.

naughtynanny Fri 16-Apr-21 11:41:25

Goodness me, even if you were remotely interested, this emotional blackmail wouldn't bode well for the future.
I'm not even sure why you are still seeing him even? Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Reduce your walks to twice a week, then stop altogether, tell a little white lie if you have to that you have something wrong with your foot....which will take literally forever to get better!!

DC64 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:43:50

What is it with these men, they hear what they want to hear no matter what they are being told 🙄 ... I would read all of these great comments and read your initial message over again ... I think you know what you need to do, - use your feet to do the talking and walk away ... fast! Self-Preservation 🤍

Babs758 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:47:44

From your post it seems you have already tried to let him down gently, suggest other outlets for him etc and he comes back with an intensity that is scary. I don't think I would be comfortable going on walks with him unless I had a friend along. Sadly I think you have to be firm and end the relationship.

fluttERBY123 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:48:29

Yes, someone said, turn up to meetings with a friend. Tell him it's over have the friend with you. Could he turn into a stalker? You need a witness maybe.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:56:22

Absolutely finish the friendship, with no compromises. It’ll only get harder to deal with the longer you leave it. It’s a shame..but there it is.

Davida1968 Fri 16-Apr-21 12:09:58

I agree with other GNs here. If it was me, I'd end the friendship completely, now. I'm guessing that you're "unattached" (romantically) Lucy? Imagine what could happen if you meet someone that you want a relationship with, and this older guy is still hanging around you.... Or even if you aren't seeking a romantic relationship, just making other friends (of either gender) might cause him to be jealous and difficult? IMO, you need to say goodbye, in the kindest way possible, but making it abundantly clear that you mean it!

cupcake1 Fri 16-Apr-21 12:21:34

No need for apologies you owe him nothing! You made your position clear from the start. There could never be a friendship now you’d be forever on your guard. Cut all contact before it escalates further.

Alioop Fri 16-Apr-21 12:23:12

He has taken the friendship a step too far so I would feel uncomfortable now having any contact, especially now he's blackmailing you and making you feel guilty. It was lovely of you to befriend him in the first place, he should of been happy with that, but I'd cut any ties now with him.
I've had a male friend for years, our mums were friends, he still lives with his. He's been helping me by doing little jobs around the house, but lately if anyone calls me his partner or girlfriend he isn't correcting them or explaining we are just friends. It is creeping me out now and I'm not happy, but he's so huffy I don't know how to explain to him I'm not happy.

Supernan Fri 16-Apr-21 12:28:32

Definitely blunt is the way to go. No messing. Friendship over.