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'My best friend proposed to me. I’m confused and mortified. Where can we go from here?' UPDATED 2X

'My best friend proposed to me. I’m confused and mortified. Where can we go from here?' UPDATED 2X


When a friend "crosses the line" and confesses feelings, it can truly ruin everything.

"My (25F) best friend (24M) proposed to me. I’m confused and mortified. Where can we go from here?"

Frankly I’m still in shock that this happened so this might be all over the place. Bear with me. All fake names etc etc. Jordan and I met in University two years ago. We both started at the same time and because of our ages we were both considered ‘mature’ students.

So we quickly became firm friends as we shared a dorm and we’d joke around together about us being old enough to be considered ‘mature’ in our early 20’s. We weren’t on the same course, but given we lived together, we would hang out pretty much all the time whenever we didn’t have a lecture. We joined a bunch of societies together, went drinking every weekend together, etc etc.

It was a pretty sweet gig because it meant we were at least never alone. Obviously we made other friends, both alone and together, but we were always each other’s #1 at the end of the day. At the moment we’re on spring holidays for Easter. And while we haven’t hung out constantly, we decided to make plans to visit each other’s hometowns, because we’re from very starkly different places.

Today, we went to mine. Mine is a big city central. This morning we went there and were wandering down the streets, doing some sightseeing, because he’s never been. There’s typically a lot of street sellers here, trying to sell you everything from hotdogs to fluffy pokemon hats. I decided I wanted to get a caricature done.

I’ve never had one and I thought it would be funny to get and hang over my bed when we got back for term. I asked Jordan if he wanted to get in and he refused. No worries, so I sat down to get it done. They don’t take very long, 5/10 ish minutes, so I stayed looked straight forward at the artist the entire time. He finished the caricature, I loved it. So obviously I turn to show it properly to Jordan.

When I turn though I literally don’t even know what to say. He’s down on one knee holding up a ring box. I don’t even really know what he said, if he did the whole like proposal speech thing because I was so confused, I was barely paying attention. Remember again, this is a super busy tourist city, so this has drawn a mini crowd now, coming over to cheer us on.

I couldn’t help but burst into laughter. To be honest, I thought this was some kind of odd prank type thing. We never HAVE been ‘prankster’ types or whatever but I couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation. So I just laughed and laughed and laughed. Until I looked at Jordan and he looked genuinely heartbroken.

So obviously I asked him something along the lines of ‘You’re not being serious?’. This is the only thing I remember him saying. He shut the box, stood up, shrugged and said ‘I guess not anymore’. And walked off. This left me standing pretty awkwardly in this gathered crowd of people, a lot of who were giving me dirty looks, which made me incredibly uncomfortable.

The plan was to meet back up a hotel that we had booked rooms next door to one another. So I figure that’s where he’s going and head back that way. But he’s not there. So I wait and I wait, and he still doesn’t return. I text him out of concern, this was at 1:15pm (it’s currently 6:20pm as I’m writing this) just asking if he’s okay.

He responds with a LONG message back (which I would post, because it’s an odd read, but I won’t out of respect for his privacy), in which he basically accuses me of leading him on.

He asks why I didn’t ’break up with him sooner’, saying I had ‘publicly humiliated’ him and that he ‘thought I loved him the same way’ and that he felt our ‘relationship was strong enough to consider taking the next step’. Now this is completely out of left field. I literally have got no idea where in the world he’s got this idea from.

The closest we’ve ever physically been is a hug hello and goodbye. I’ve never even jokingly flirted with him (for exactly this reason, I’ve had too many friendships collapse because they can’t tell the difference between serious interesting and joking banter in friendships, so I’ve been extra careful to not). We’ve never kissed, never been on a date, never had s*x.

I do not find him physically attractive and I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with him. I don’t understand where on Earth he’s got this idea that we are. This isn’t something he’s ever bought up before this and I’m genuinely bewildered. He hasn’t returned to the hotel yet, I periodically knock to check, and I’ve been listening out for him walking up the hallway or anything.

Nothing. I haven’t responded to his long paragraph because honestly? I don’t know how to. I’m just so stunned and taken aback that I genuinely have no idea where to go from here or what to do. I haven’t told anyone I know in person yet, mostly because I don’t want to bring this up to people who know Jordan. So here I am turning to strangers online instead.

What in the world do I do 😭

TL;DR: My best friend off 2 years seems to think we’re in a relationship and decided to publicly propose to me. I have no idea what to do.

Commenters had a lot of theories.

stillcantsee wrote:

He’s at the age where severe mental illness can really manifest; reach out to his family and share your concerns. Normal healthy-minded people do not imagine years-long romantic relationships with people. I would also avoid being alone with him until it’s confirmed that his grasp on reality is not tenuous.

OP responded:

Thank you, I don’t really know any of his family but I’ll see what I can do 🙏

clearheaded01 wrote:

Is he religious by any chance?? This could possibly explain how he could see the lack of any physical intimacy as compatible with're staying "pure."

I assume you've never dated/hooked up with anyone during your friendship with him???

OP responded:

He’s Catholic, but he’s non practicing. He believes in God and the bible and such, but he doesn’t go to church and (as far as I know) he isn’t very strict in his beliefs. I’ve had hookups, but no relationships. He hasn’t had any relationships, but I’m not sure about hookups. We don’t even talk about s*x with each other to be honest outside of the occasional ‘he’s fit, I would’ while people watching

kuwabara_has_a_sword wrote:

I strongly disagree with the people saying this is an acute mental health crisis. If he was slipping into psychosis, mania, or something similar, you would know just from being around him. If the message was "weird" but generally coherent, he isn't experiencing a clinical break from reality. He's just been in his head privately nurturing this fantasy of a relationship. Who knows when he decided to buy the ring.

It sounds like he has been in love with you for awhile and assumed you harbored similar unspoken feelings. He is probably lonely (romantically), maybe doesn't get much attention from women, and it sounds like you have a pretty intimate friendship. Men tend to develop feelings for platonic friends or therapists more easily because they aren't accustomed to that type of intimacy outside of romance.

As far as what to do, you are in an impossible position. His pride was hurt by your reaction because he's been caught up in a fantasy that was shattered. Your nervous laughter (very understandable) was probably close to a worst case scenario, and he is taking it personally.

You could reach out and offer some type of assurance or explanation ("I wasn't laughing because xyz..." or "I'm here if you want to talk") to mitigate bitterness or hurt feelings, but anything short of "yes" is still going to leave him wounded. Give him space and talk to someone you trust.

I would avoid talking to his family/friends for now unless necessary, as it would only add to the feeling of humiliation. A failed proposal will often end a relationship. It might be the same with your friend. It sounds like he's angry and might go back into his head to protect himself by demonizing you. I'm sorry.

OP responded:

This is also actually a pretty reasonable take. Others have asked if I’ve noticed any different behaviours and such recently, and I haven’t. This is the first ‘wtf’ thing that’s happened and I haven’t noticed anything change His message is very coherent and clear, nothing out of the ordinary.

A bit ramble-y (him and I both I guess LOL) and obviously contextually the actual contents makes very little sense, but the phrasing and grammar and such is all completely clear. So potentially you’re onto something.

The next day, OP shared an update.

Hey, I’m not dead! I’m back at my parent’s house at the moment and I’ll be staying here until school picks back up in a bit instead of traveling around. It’s nice to be home anyways. Update TLDR: Jordan and I spoke. He didn’t explain where he got the idea we were in a relationship from, and he doubled down on the proposal idea saying I should’ve loved it. Apparently he’s dropping out of university.

Jordan did in fact not come back to the hotel. I stayed up until 1am before falling asleep and he didn’t return. When I woke up the next day, the hotel staff let me know he had checked himself out at about 6am. I did end up responding to his big long text.

I took everyone’s advice and told him that I was sorry it didn’t go as he had expected but that I wasn’t sure where he’d got the impression we were together. I said I’d be happy to sit and have a discussion about it all so we could make sure we’re on the same page. He was not happy about this at all. And he again went off which a bunch of the same type of thing he’d said in his first message.

It didn’t really seem to be going through his head at all. Even in these new texts he kept referring to this all as me ‘breaking up’ with him, despite me explicitly telling him we are not and never have. Again, all his messages were very clear and coherent, even if what he was saying was not based in reality at all.

He wasn’t sending paragraphs, just sentences in really quick succession which was blowing my phone up. He told me he didn’t want to meet up with me to talk because I had ‘ripped out his heart and crushed it in public.’ I did ask him for specific instances he could recall between us that made him think we were dating.

But he completely ignored the question and just kept going on and on about how hurt he was that I was ‘breaking up’ with him and how he felt his world was ending. He said he loved me more than anything and had felt so confident that I had too which is why he felt so certain about proposing to ‘move our relationship along’ (???)

Eventually, to be honest, I grew pretty tired of the conversation and stopped responding, because it was just going around and around in circles. Me asking where he got this idea, him ignoring this and telling me how hurt he is I’m breaking up with him over this, etc etc. He went on and on saying he thought it would be a ring I like, because it was my favorite gem, ruby, instead of diamond.

(It’s got me wondering how much he actually spent on this damn thing. I didn’t look very clearly at the ring so I couldn’t tell if it was something super expensive or not) and that he had been working up the courage to do so for a while and figured doing it when I was at home would make it more special. For a while, he was just talking to himself in my texts, because I wasn’t responding anymore.

When I checked back about 20 minutes later, I had something like 60 messages from him. Granted, they were all one sentences. At the very end he apologised and told me that it didn’t matter anyway because I ‘wouldn’t see him around anymore’.

Obviously I was concerned so I asked for clarification. He said that he was going to drop out of University and go back home because he ‘couldn’t deal with the shame.’ That’s where our conversation ended. I didn’t really know what to respond to that.

As it stands now, I don’t really know where Jordan is. I didn’t ask him, which is my bad. I’m not sure if / when we will talk again. I’m sorry this is quite a boring update. Unfortunately, I can’t excite everyone with a ‘and then he turned up at my door, and then he sent me flowers,’ or whatever. It feels a lot is unanswered. I still don’t know where he got the idea we were saying from, he hasn’t explained that.

So I’m sorry I can’t give everyone that answer. I haven’t reached out to his family yet. I did consider it, but if he’s not having a mental health crisis, I don’t really want to involve them unnecessarily.

The comments kept rolling in.

fenkik wrote:

I understand not wanting to involve family but as you are close and in college, surely there are other friends/people who know you both you could reach out to and ask. You don’t even have to go into specifics, just be like “hey, did you think that Jordan and I were dating? Have you heard Jordan refer to us as dating?”

Get a sense of whether this is something ongoing and he’s just a regular weirdo or if this is something concerning that should be brought up with family or mental health professionals at your school.

OP responded:

We do share some mutual friends, I haven’t really considered reaching out to them, but I’ll definitely think about doing so. I feel like someone would’ve told me if he had been saying that to them though, but obviously I’m not certain.

I haven’t told anyone in real life about it (not even my parents!), just been keeping under the near total anonymity of the internet, but I can definitely see why it may be important to do this.

OKayleigh89 wrote:

This reminds me of a story I read awhile back I don’t remember all the details but the dude just assumed they were in a relationship despite never asking her or even talking about it before but it came out the guy did never ask because then she wouldn’t have the opportunity to say no and reject him. Both guys in both stories sound mentally unwell tbh.

OP responded:

Yeah someone linked that on my first post. In that case the guy thought they were saying for SIX years. Insanity. Grateful it at least didn’t seem to get that bad.

ChallengeHoudini wrote:

This isn’t the end. This man is living on coo-coo land! He’s conjuring up a fantasy in his head that could become really scary. Confined in your other roommates, friends and parents and protect yourself because clearly…you don’t know this person AT ALL.

highestformofwhit wrote:

He is clearly, clearly in some sort of psychosis. You cannot reason with someone who has a different reality. Please reach out to his family and mutual friends so they can keep an eye on him.

Used-Organization73 wrote:

Girl, I think you are UNDERESTIMATING the whole situation. Talk to your friends and Jordan's parents.

OP responded:

I have sent a message to his mum! I haven’t heard anything back yet, but hopefully will do soon.

MrLizardBusiness wrote:

Wow. When it's easier to propose than make a move. He's got some stuff going on, mentally. I would tell your parents and also reach out to his, for his own well-being.

OP responded:

Honestly this is what I mean. I’m not into Jordan like that. Really at all. But if he had asked me out, I would’ve been flattered, politely declined and moved on. I don’t have any issue with him liking me or whatever. I have issue with him jumping from friends to ‘let’s propose right now in public even though you don’t know we’re ‘dating.'

OP shared another update on the post.

So adding on, a lot of people said I should ask our mutual friends if he’s ever bought this up before. Ever suggested we were dating etc. All of the people I’ve asked (granted it was only 5) said that they’ve not got a clue and he’s never mentioned it before now.

I don’t know then if this is something that he’s newly started thinking, if it’s been something long term etc. Either way, in addition I’ve also screenshotted all of his texts etc, just in case. Reading back on them not with a slightly less confused mindset, they read pretty manic. Still haven’t heard back from his mum just yet.

The comments kept flowing in.

666-take-the-piss wrote:

Let us know if you get any more info. So sorry you’re going through this, it sounds scary and confusing.

OP responded:

Will do! I’m hopeful this won’t need another update to be honest and it can be left at just this. If there’s anything small, I’ll just add it to this post. I’ll only make another post if something else major happens which 🤞it doesn’t

DerbleZerp wrote:

His sentences being clear and coherent are not a tell that this isn’t psychosis. Rapid and constant speech is a symptom of psychosis. And he is firing off sentence after sentence about something that is clearly a delusion.

OP responded:

Interesting. I don’t really know anything about psychosis and such! I mostly bought up the coherent texting because other people mentioned it on my other post, but that’s definitely interesting to note. Texts were super super rapid.

Peter095837 wrote:

OP should definitely bring family involvement because the friends behavior is genuinely concerning and he definitely could do something drastic and dangerous. When people hit a psychotic break down, it genuinely can be a horror story.

SufficientMacaroon1 wrote:

In case it is not an acute mental health crisis, that guy is the ultimate NiceGuyTM 2.0: instead of "I befriend a girl so she then owes me a relationship over all my niceness," he just directly went "I befriend a girl and am nice to her, so we simply are in a relationship, her input on that is not needed."

Hopefully, OP is safe moving forward from this.

Sources: Reddit
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