Hi there. About 9 months ago, I received a message from an acquaintance asking to go for a drink.
I was feeling quite lonely at the time (I had recently broken ties with my school friends and I felt like my uni friends were never around) so it was really nice to meet up and a have a few drinks with another girl my age.
Since then, this has catapulted into the most intense friendship I have ever experienced.
This girl was suddenly in every single aspect of my life - she invites me to everything she does, and therefore I started to do the same thing, despite thinking we were really different people and didn't really have that much in common.
I have hit a wall with this now - I feel so suffocated and I don't know how to ease the friendship off without hurting her feelings beyond repair.
She wants to move in together, wants to go on holiday together, calls me her best friend etc but I feel quite indifferent about her.
The other night I went out with some old uni friends and didn't invite her - I actually had to lie to her as I know she would have asked to come along - this does not seem like the hallmark of a healthy friendship to me anymore.
I have an attractive male friend who I knew she would fancy - but she took it one step too far - trying to get with him despite him actually putting his hand in her face and saying 'no'.
She constantly texted him asking him to meet up and made a 'friendly' Whatsapp group with two girls he has been seeing/is seeing.
I find this behaviour completely inappropriate and embarrassing - what is she playing at?
It's like she doesn't know how to behave. I feel like I have two choices - to give her the serious cold shoulder or be honest with her - but either option is going to be incredibly painful.
My mum says to be kind - but I feel she needs to understand that her behaviour is obsessive and is pushing others away - my friends who meet her don't want me to bring her out with them again.
I feel like this has become an all-consuming friendship and I don't know how to get out of it without hurting her. Please help.
Sex and relationship expert Jessican Leoni said: “I am loathe to disagree with the advice from your mother, who sounds like a lovely woman and is right in many ways when she advises you to be kind, but I think you would be being kind in telling your friend to ease off. In the words of that old song, sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. You’re right: it’s going to be incredibly painful. But you will be doing your friend a huge favour if you are straight with her and tell her that if she does not calm down then you can no longer be friends with her. I would be very surprised if she has not been told this before. Her behaviour does sound very needy and a bit creepy at times. You won’t be the first person she has spooked and I suspect that you won’t be the last.
“I would be very surprised if your friend heeded your advice and stopped suffocating the people around her. She clearly has very little self-awareness - evident not just in her behaviour towards you but in her refusal to take no as answer from your attractive male friend. I am going to cut her a little slack and assume she is in her early 20s and you are both fairly recently out of college. That is a vulnerable age when you are sorting out your career and feeling your way in ‘adult’ relationships. Some people are slower to grow up than others and hopefully your friend will learn in time that she needs to give her friends a little more space. But she will only learn this painful lesson if compassionate people like you are straight with her.”
Jessica is a sex and relationship expert for the dating site, IllicitEncounters.com
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