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Fight With A Friend

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Earlier tonight something happened with a friend of mine that really upset me and I'd like anyone's input/advice on the matter.

First the important background. There is a girl at my college that I am somewhat interested in. My inclination is to get to know her for a while as friends and see where things go from there. A week ago she came over to watch a movie, and a roomate of mine, let's call him X, asked me if there was anything going on there. I said that I was interested and that there may be something going on there.

It's important to note that X and I have been good friends for 2 years now. Additionally, friends of this girl have been asking me if anything was going on there and have been predicting that something romantic may occur in the future. Finally, X has a history of being somewhat of a womanizer. Not only is he quite the flirt but he also hooks up with a handful of girls each semester and proceeds to brag to me and others about it.

Earlier tonight this girl, X, and a few other friends went out for a bite to eat followed by a movie back at my place. The entire night he was hitting on this girl and clearly trying to impress her.

I was mildly annoyed by this given the fact that I had declared that I had some feelings for this girl and I had planned on talking to him about it after everything was done. But, after the movie was over and she started to leave, he said that he was going for a walk, and clearly walked right behind her, intending to walk her back to her dorm room.

At this point I was seething mad. It seemed that he had every intention of trying to hook up with her or kiss her goodnight or something of that nature despite his explicit knowledge that there may be something developing between her and I.

But what was worst of all was what he said when he came back a few minutes later. He came into my room and said, "Well that walk was a BIG success." At that point I stood up, looked him in the eyes, and punched him in the side of the head. I threw him out of my room to keep me from hitting him again and proceeded to try to calm down.

He later apologized and said that he had not intended at any point to hook up with her or make a move on her. He further said that nothing happened on their walk and that his comment walking in my room was intended to be sarcastic. I'm not sure if I believe him. Given how he acted the entire night, that he volunteered to walk her home, and given his history of womanizing, I highly doubt that he had no intentions.

I'm still very upset by this entire situation. I do not think that it has to do with my feelings for the girl, because they are not in fact serious, but rather the sense of betrayal I feel from my friend. At the moment I feel sick to my stomach over the whole thing and I'm totally unsure as to what to do.

Was I justified in being as angry as I was? Was I justified in punching him after the comment he made when he entered my room?

I do not believe that I have any seclusive "right" to this girl and that I should be subject to competition from other potential men. But at the same time I feel that it is highly inconsiderate and insensitive for a friend to puruse a girl that a good friend of his has feelings for, not to mention to do so blatantly right in front of him. I feel absolutely disgusted that he would do this to me and would treat me this way.

Any comments, advice, help, etc., would be greatly appreciated.

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Judging by your description of this guys attitude toward women, I'm highly skeptical of his intentions. I've known guys like you describe. This is the type of guy who seeks self-esteem by playing the field. Now, I don't think there's really anything wrong with playing the field as such, but the fact that he feels the need to brag about it indicates that there's probably some unhealthy psychology involved.

Ask yourself this: Is his bragging often within the context of trying to one-up other guys, even if only implicitly? I've found that the single best way to ensure one of these hook-up-and-brag guys will pursue a particular girl is to let him know you are interested. I have a hunch his actions have more to do with his feelings toward other men than his feelings toward the girls he pursues. No, I don't mean he's secretly gay or anything. It's a particular type of second-hander. It's the type who achieves self-esteem by setting up a false superiority over others. In young men, it usually manifests itself in sexual conquest.

Your anger is justified, for a whole lot of reasons. I probably would've punched him, too. You're right that you don't have an inherent right to this girl; there's no such thing as staking your claim where women are concerned. Unless he held a genuine interest in this girl, which I doubt, but I don't really have the context to make the kind of judgment you can here, following her when she left was a HUGE betrayal. Not because he was going after a girl you like, but because his real motivation most likely had nothing to do with the girl, and everything with gaining some sort of superiority over you. In that sense, it was he who through the first punch.

And then the kicker was that he tried to deny the painfully obvious intention! WTF, does he think you're an idiot?! That almost deserves another punch in the face, but not quite.

Healthy friendships don't operate by some sort of primitive alpha-male pecking order. If you value your friendship with this guy, you need to nip it in the bud and let him know that competition is only acceptable when it's all out in the open and everybody's cool with it. Trying to underhandedly force a competition on you like that is pretty low; I doubt he realizes how low. He might not realize the nature of what he's doing at all, so it's up to you to point it out and make it clear that this kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Now for my mini-disclaimer: You're the only one with access to all of the relevant context here, so please take what I've said with only slightly more than a grain of salt.

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Hitting him was certainly not justified, and after you cool down you should absolutely apologize for it. He might be a complete jerk and that still doesn't justify assault, which you will learn if he decides to press charges. I doubt that will happen, however.

Secondly, if you're interested in a young lady don't invite her over to watch a movie with you and a bunch of your male friends. This sends the message that you consider her one of the guys. Spend time alone with her alone and outside. Take her shopping at the mall. Go to a movie. Have dinner.

As for whether or not your anger was justified, it probably was. Emotions are emotions, there's nothing to be gained by trying to shut them down. I just have one question, though; do you really want to date a girl who would give in to pressure from that sort of guy? It sounds like she's probably capable of detecting a twit for herself, and good for her.

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I was in the exact same situation a few years ago. My best friend at the time knew that I was interested in this girl, but being as shy as I was, hadn't worked up the courage to ask her out yet. Well one night my friends and I were out drinking and my friend started bragging to me about how he had sex with the girl the night before. Which is a bit more extreme than your situation.

Obviously I was very angry, but I certainly didn't punch him. Actually I was mad for about 20 minutes before I realized that it would be pretty stupid of me to try to pursue an actual relationship with a girl that is that "easy." At least I found out before I had a relationship with her and ending up getting cheated on.

As for my friend, I continued to hang out with him, but no longer considered him my best friend. Actually, the longer I knew him, the more I realized that when it comes to most things, he is a nice guy. But as soon as an opportunity with a female comes along, he shouldn't be trusted. dondigitalia's explanation pretty much describes my friend exactly. He tried to hook up with as many girls as possible and bragged about every single one.

So I guess it might be wise to keep your guard up when it comes to this guy and girls you like. But since you do live with this guy, you may as well try to get along as best you can. Otherwise things could be much worse.

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I have a different take on this.

Is she a girlfriend, or is she just a friend? You state your inclination is to get to know here "as a friend" and see where that goes. You also state you feelings for aren't even that serious, so I'm assuming you are still in the "just friends" status with her. I'm just not seeing any "claim" here that clearly says she's mine and you, my friend, should stay away. You have only vaguely marked her as a potential romantic target somewhere down the line, maybe. That hardly amounts to a "hands off" situation. I don't see any level of committment here that suggests either your friend or the girl should put their interests on hold until you have decided on your interests.

If anything, maybe I could see you having some expectation that he let you know he's also interested in her, even if only to score. But then, you already know he's a "womanizer".

Now, unless your feelings for her are stronger than you realize, I can't see preventing one of my friends from having sex with another of my friends. That's their business until it's clear with ALL involved parties that you and the girl are both actively pursuing a romantic relationship.

While it probably would have been the friendly thing to do to let you know his intentions, I can't see that his actions have in anyway justified you violating his rights. His actions did not represent a threat of force, nor an initiation of force so neither his actions, nor your anger justify an assault in this case. You were not defending your rights in any sense that I can I identify.

Forgetting him for the moment, does she explicitly understand you have an some vague, potential interest in her, and is she actually interested in you? Or, does she view your relationship with her as "just friends"?

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I would honestly never speak to this kid again. Given that his statement towards you was obviously meant to make you jealous and angry. On top of which you know he doesn't respect women (why are you still friends with this ass?). You certainly don't hold any right to have this girl on reserve, however; him saying "Well that walk was a BIG success." shows that he is aware of your interest and that he is using it to his advantage.

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Secondly, if you're interested in a young lady don't invite her over to watch a movie with you and a bunch of your male friends. This sends the message that you consider her one of the guys. Spend time alone with her alone and outside. Take her shopping at the mall. Go to a movie. Have dinner.

I agree with this 100%. If I find someone I think I might like I try to get them alone. This gives you much more of an ability to at least find out what they value conciously and sometimes unconciously (ie what are thier goals in life, whom do they respect and why, what do they like etc). I generally will do this early in the beginning because I really hate to waste my time with someone for weeks and weeks only to find out that thier a socialist at heart even if they don't know it.

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