I recently hooked up with a male co-worker who also happens to be my good friend. We had been dancing around a mutual attraction for about a year and finally slept together after having a few too many drinks one night. Because we're such good friends, it felt safe and comfortable. Neither of us are looking to be in a relationship right now, so it seemed like a good opportunity to have some fun with no strings attached. We decided that it was probably best to leave it as a one-time thing, though I made it clear that I was open to the possibility of it happening again.
Before we had sex, we agreed that we wouldn't let things get weird between us as friends. Well, that lasted about a day. I've been trying to play it cool, but now he's treating me like a clingy ex-girlfriend he's trying to ditch. He never accepts my invitations for group outings anymore, and he avoids situations where we might be alone together. I've tried giving him space, which is hard because we work together, but he still gives me the cold shoulder. I feel really hurt by this. I hate trying to walk a fine line between seeming too clingy and avoiding him. I'm still attracted to him, but most of all, I miss his friendship, and I want things to go back to normal.
I feel like if I talk to him about his behavior, it might make things even more awkward. But I'm worried that if keep my mouth shut, I'll risk losing his friendship altogether. How can I fix this?
—Things Are Awkward Now Nancy
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Dear Things Are Awkward Now Nancy,
I know you guys were friends before you slept together, but there was obviously more going on between you than just a casual friendship. I think this guy must have gotten scared off or nervous and that's why he's acting so immature.
You can't keep going on like this. I would approach him and say that you'd like to get together and talk about things. You have no idea what he's thinking. Does he like you but is nervous to start a relationship? Is he not interested in starting a relationship but afraid to tell you because he doesn't want to hurt your feelings? Or maybe he doesn't want to act like your friend and give you the idea that he likes you, so he's acting like a jerk instead. You'll have no idea unless he tells you.
He could also need a little time to sort through his feelings and may not be ready to talk about it yet. So just be patient, go about your business, and have as little contact with him as necessary. I'm sure with time, the weirdness will subside and you'll be able to talk things out. If not and he continues to act childish and different then you'll know that this guy definitely isn't worth your time.