I broke up with my ex over a year ago—I realized he was not “the one” and was relieved that he took it well and wanted to remain friends. I’ve seen him fairly regularly as we have all the same friends … It’s been good. But lately, he’s been asking to get together “one on one,” and it’s feeling too close for my taste. How do I express my wish to stay “friendly” but not really “friends”?
It’s hard breaking hearts … as a heartbreaker myself, I know that being catnip for men is not a blessing but a mild curse (!) and a difficult lot in life (and love). It sounds like Mr. Not-The-One is
just not taking “no” for an answer! Things are probably made more
difficult because you two share so many of the same friends. Le Sigh.
Get some new friends! Just kidding.
Okay, I would be straightforward with Mr. Not-The-One and say that while
you like seeing him in group settings, you don’t want to further
jeopardize your friendship by seeing him one-on-one. Hmm. That doesn’t
totally make sense, does it? Maybe he will get the hint. Or, when in
doubt, I like to play games and avoid people. Perhaps tell him you’re
seeing someone new? Or just always put him off and say you’re too busy
for the one-on-one hang. He could get the hint that way too … But
probably it’s best to just say what you told old Kippy. Tell him you
want to be friendly but not exactly friends—and that you believe a
one-on-one hang is a slippery slope into tender-heart territory.
Stay strong and carry on,