Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “An Awkward Proposal” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “An Awkward Proposal” who didn’t know how to behave around her friend who suddenly proposed to her out of the blue. After the jump, find out where things stands between them now.

About the proposal, I am sure that this friend was serious, which is mostly why it was so awkward for me. Had he only been joking, I could have laughed it off. Which I tried to do at first, but when I asked him directly if he was serious because he kept talking about the idea of us getting married. He said he was serious, and that he had been thinking about this for a while and couldn’t keep his feelings to himself anymore.

When it all first happened, we had been out for coffee. He had known my plans for the day and asked to come along. It was unusual to see him without our other friends, but I hadn’t thought much of it at the time. So when he did propose, sans ring, I was surprised and overwhelmed by his proposal. But he didn’t seem to want an answer then and he asked me to think about. I wish I had thought of the response Lizzy gave to Collins as one reader recommended, but I didn’t quite have my wits about me. Instead, I told him I would think about it, but the more I thought about it the more I knew for sure that he would only ever be a friend. Later, I sent him a message telling him no, that it wasn’t fair to lead him on. It might have been cowardly to send a message rather than telling him in person, but I needed to let him know rather than waiting until I saw him next. Thankfully, he seemed to accept that well enough, and he said he hoped we could still be friends.

During this time though, I told a mutual friend about the situation. She later told me that although our friend has a crush on me, that I should not be uncomfortable and to just be natural. She also recommended that I not try to avoid him, since she thought it would just make things worse. So I will finally be seeing him later this week with all our friends, and I am going to do my best to be natural and comfortable.

There had been another reason that the whole situation was so hard for me. When he had been telling me his feelings, he seemed surprised that I hadn’t known. He seemed to think that I had been flirting with him during the time that I had known him. That is probably to due cultural confusion; I guess he thought my open friendly nature was flirting. But I had never flirted with him, and had only ever seen and treated him as a younger brother. I’m just now in my mid-twenties and he is a few years younger, but in his culture they tend to get married younger. But even with this misunderstanding, I think that it will be fine to see him again. The rest of my friends are really just too dear to lose for my remaining time abroad. So I hope it won’t be long before this is just a funny story to tell my friends when I am once again stateside.

Thanks again for all the recommendations!

Yes, it’ll definitely be a funny story to tell your friends when you’re back home. Just add it to your collection of tales from your time abroad. And, anyway, it sounds like no harm, no foul…which is really the best you can hope for from an unwanted and unexpected proposal.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

9 comments… add one
  • Carolynasaurus October 31, 2011, 12:20 pm

    I’m glad things are easier now, but I have to imagine that until you sit down and have a conservation with this guy face to face about what happened and how you feel about him, it’ll rear its ugly head again.

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    • west October 31, 2011, 2:15 pm

      I would say even then. Why do women think that not only does saying “we can still be friends” softens the blow of rejection, but then when guy says “oh yeah totally just friends I’ll just stop liking you instantly while hanging out with you all the time, because that’s a thing that actually happens ever” they act like it doesn’t even occur to them that maybe the guy being totally honest to her and himself and still “carries a torch” or whatever?

      Granted the guy isn’t off the hook either for not taking the hint but seriously every girl i’ve ever dated has had at least 1 “just friend” that used to like her and totally doesn’t anymore. Every single one…. had AT LEAST one of these. The guy would be better off if the girl was like “No, it’s never ever going to happen ever” because then he would actually *gasp* put himself out there and try to meet someone new! My current girlfriend says its an attention thing and girls like having some dork fawn over them. Who knows right?

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      • 6napkinburger October 31, 2011, 2:46 pm

        And there’s no girl in the world who doesn’t love being referred to as someone’s “current girlfriend.”

      • Rachel October 31, 2011, 4:00 pm

        Seriously. Like, current, as opposed to all of those future girlfriends?

      • Joanna October 31, 2011, 2:47 pm

        I wouldn’t say ALL girls like having someone fawn over them. Usually when that happens to me, I try to find a single friend or acquaintance who would be happy for the attention.

        But with that said, the shoe has been on the other foot a few times, and I’ve continued fawning over guys when they said no.

        With that said, I’m of the opinion that type of behavior will fade as one gains confidence and social experience with people of both sexes and all different perspectives.

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        CatsMeow October 31, 2011, 4:22 pm

        She said that HE said he hoped they could still be friends. In this case, it was HIS idea, not hers.

  • artsygirl October 31, 2011, 2:58 pm

    LW – it sounds like the Indian situation one of the other readers mentioned. In your friend’s culture being engaged might be similar to dating – you get engaged in order to spend more time together and then if it works out you marry and if it doesn’t then you break it off. Good luck at your first face to face with him.

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    bittergaymark October 31, 2011, 10:46 pm

    I hate that you are so vague. I mean — where are you? Why not just tell us the country? At any rate, I would be wary. Seriously. Some cultures seem to encourage their men to get a little wacky about women.

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    • Sarah October 31, 2011, 11:16 pm

      Currently I’m living in Asia, and the friend is from Africa.

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