Hi, Ckasa. I was like you, I always preferred male company because I liked the same topics. I never liked hanging around with the girls talking about babies, boys, make-up and fashion (couldn't afford it, anyway) and I much preferred hanging around with the guys tinkering under a car bonnet.
The problems I encountered -
some guys can misunderstand, and want more from a relationship that you are prepared to give.
Some females (adult as well as peers) can also misconstrue and label you very negatively. I had female classmates who ostracised me and female teachers who assumed I was a tart. They didn't see that the boys I hung around with were the ones who treated me as another one of the boys.
So watch out. It can get very nasty.
Regarding this boy I have a few concerns for you.
1) You are his friend. He sees you as something more but you are doing your best to control THAT situation.
BUT - whatever his emotional needs, you do not want your status in his eyes to change. Your aim is for him to continue to see you as just a friend. But as soon as you become a therapist, a parent, an organiser, a counsellor, you take on a different role.
Whatever has messed up his head, chances are it involves some adult in one of those roles who mishandled the situation. You do not want to be identified with that person.
Example - my daughter, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was going out with a guy whose mother simply left him to raise himself. She provided a roof over his head and paid his school fees. She would give him money to buy food or clothes. Sometimes she would be home; sometimes she would go out and maybe not come home for days. I met her - she looked (and acted) like a kid herself. Sex in the City lifestyle.
So when my daughter began going out with this guy, she began to look after him. Helped him with grooming; helped him cook and clean. Cuddled him, cozened him, soothed him, comforted him when his mother was off with a new boyfriend. The troubles developed because boyfriend really needed a mother, not a girlfriend. And by putting my daughter into the 'mother' pigeonhole, boyfriend inadvertently doomed the relationship. Because in his mind, he could not separate his girlfriend's form of 'mother' from his own incompetent parent. Plus, a sexual relationship feels really weird when you see this person as your mother!
It killed their relationship stone dead. He simply couldn't reconcile his girlfriend with ANY parental role and yet he kept shoving her there. He became demanding, "Where have you been? I need you to help me with my hair!" and also using her for money when his mother wouldn't give him any.
So be careful. Whatever you do with this guy, if it goes beyond what you normally find in a friendship, you risk a great deal.
2) My daughter's ex-boyfriend was fairly stable, but this happened. With a guy who claims to be a sociopath, he's already telling you he isn't stable. he's giving you fair warning. He's also telling you that he doesn't want to change.
3) You can't change a person. They have to choose to change. They also have to make that choice without being influenced into it. The most you can do, without ever having to be accused of pushing them into it, is to lay the choices before him. After that he has to make his own decisions.
4) If you do more than an average friend would do, he will perceive you as more than an average friend. What this means to him is anybody's guess, but chances are, it won't be pretty. GO CAREFULLY.
5) And now to you - what is it about YOU that makes you want to rescue him? Is it possible for you to be anyone's friend, and not try to fix them? Are you casting yourself constantly in the role of rescuer? If so, why do you not value yourself as you are? Why do you have to make yourself as useful as possible, to consider yourself to be a person of worth? I worry about your own self-esteem and where this is coming from, in you. Because you sound a great deal like my best friend. She now realises, she collects lame ducks. I suspect she saw me as a lame duck when we first met (well, lame, anyway). She tries to fix things, to do nice things for people, to be there for them, to support them, to try and help them through a depressive patch or a sad time. And what ends up happening - she especially reaches out to the sad cases that nobody else wants to help. She refuses to consider that there are often good reasons why you shouldn't do this - other people will stop helping someone who refuses to be helped, or is a user. You can get badly hurt, and still not have helped anyone. You can also find yourself time and time again, getting suckered by some very unstable and vindictive characters. With my friend, I can see it happening. I can't tell her, I can't do a thing. Sometimes when she talks about it and asks why so-and-so treated her like dirt, I point out, "You lie in the door and say, 'walk over me' and wonder why she treats you like a doormat?"
My friend was emotionally abused as a child. She then married an abuser - once again, she was trying to 'save' him. But it turned out, he wasn't interested in being helped. he just pretended to be, so he would have a good character witness to his latest rape charge. Her husband pleaded with her to help, saying he hadn't done it anyway, he wasn't like that, and my friend believed him. It wasn't until years later she found out the truth - after he left her for another woman.
My friend had been set up for a bad marriage (and some of her bad friendships) by her abused background. her self-esteem rock-bottom, she felt that if she could help people and make THEM happier, then SHE would be happier. She is a wonderful person and I love her to bits, but I want her to feel good about herself even when she can't do good things for other people.
And I have to admit, I'm a bit like that too. And I think you are too, very much. So watch out - until you understand WHY you are like this, you are setting yourself up for a lot of pain without necessarily a lot of result to justify it.
Learn to value yourself purely for who you are, not for what you do.
You want to be a good friend - don't try to change him. Don't nag (puts you in a parental role, or a teacher role). Don't tell him too much about what he should do (or maybe even could do) because it puts you in a controlling role, and almost by definition, he HATES people who try to control him. I suspect that if he snaps, it won't be pretty.
If you want to help him, then just listen. But also keep yourself sufficiently apart so you don't send him mixed messages about your intentions.
And now finally, a story about myself from when I was your age - at our church, our pastor had a mission to 'save' young men who were heading for a criminal career. He would bring one young man in particular, to our youth group. He felt that by bringing Fred (not his real name) to our group he would surround Fred with good influences.
But the pastor didn't really do much else. Fred got romantically involved with a number of "nice young gels" whose mothers were NOT happy. He was an emotional basket-case, threatening self-harm if his girlfriend couldn't visit, or wouldn't skip school to see him, or if he had another charge to appear in court for. He was basically using emotional blackmail to get the various GFs to do what he wanted.
And, of course, they wanted to help him. So they gave in to his childish tantrums. Hey, none of us were equipped to deal with him, we were just kids.
Fred brought HIS friends to our youth group. While Fred WAS interested in rehabilitation, his friends weren't. They just wanted a good time. And t he pastor was not paying attention.
One night, youth group was a discussion group, held at my parents' home. We all had a pleasant evening but these crim types clearly didn't know the social rules. When it was 11 pm and time for Youth group to finish, the other "nice young men" got up to leave. Fred's mates waved goodbye but didn't move. I made more coffee. A Telethon was starting on TV and these guys were watching it. My parents were glaring at me - but what could I do?
I talked with them a while longer and I thought I noticed signs of them getting ready to leave - they wanted to buy beer and we didn't have any. Then my father found one of them going through our bathroom cabinet, and that snapped him into action - he asked them all to leave.
One of them, "Steve", told me, a year later, what happened next. Fred went home. He had to meet with the pastor next day about a job. The rest went back to Steve's place. Steve had a fridge full of beer (he was the only one legally old enough to buy it). They watched the telethon and drank beer. At about 2 am, Steve was asleep and the others were into mischief. They went up and down the street stealing milk bottles just delivered by the milkman. They brought them back and put them in Steve's fridge. Then they drank more beer and feel asleep on the back veranda.
Steve was woken by a knock on the door - the cops. The others had been seen swiping milk. The police came inside and went to the fridge - Steve thought he was still dreaming (or on something) when he saw that all the beer had apparently metamorphosed into milk. Because it was obvious that Steve had been asleep (and was clearly still too incapable of having been up to mischief) he didn't get charged. The others did. because two of them were under 16, they went to reform school. The others, who all had petty crim records, went to jail.
Steve sobered up and joined the army.
Meanwhile the pastor brought along another bloke. I wondered why we had an apparently older bloke at Youth Group. I did the polite thing and introduced myself, he told he his name. He seemed quiet and nice - a change after that last lot. Fred was fitting in well by this stage, on his 3rd girlfriend and still not dead. But this bloke - I kept running into him, he seemed to be following me like a puppy. he finally told me he had just got out of jail.
"What for?" I asked.
"Carnal knowledge," he told me. (That was an old charge now replaced. It referred to sex of ANY kind with an under-age girl). Basically, he was a pedophile. And like an idiot, I'd already given him my address in the city so he could write to me - I had just left home, at 17, to go to uni.
A few months later, I was having a study evening in my city bedsitter, when this bloke turned up. I'd already received a few worrying letters from him - signed "SWALK" which I didn't even know what it meant. Then he turned up - luckily, my friends (all male - like I said, I get on better with males than females) recognised the problem and didn't leave. This bloke had brought some love tokens - two barbecued chickens. So everybody ate barbecued chicken.
I was stuck - didn't know what to do. I was so glad of my mates, though, for sticking around and outstaying this bloke. He had arrived at 10 pm, just as my friends were about to leave (like, WHY do you go visiting an underage girl, uninvited, on her own, in the city, at 10 pm?). They ended up staying until this fella left, at 2 am. One of my friends stayed and slept on the couch. My bedsitter had a ground-floor window that didn't lock and I was so scared for months after, until I moved away.
This bloke probably didn't wish me any harm at all, it's just that he had NO idea of how to behave. I could easily have been raped because he didn't know what rape was, or how to interact appropriately. So sad.
But when you're 17 and terrified, you realise you have to keep yourself safe. And my friends - what made them good friends? They asked no questions. They gave me no advice. They just saw a need and made sure they were there for me to lean on. Nothing more.
Sorry this is so long, but I thought it would help, to go into a bit more detail.