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Thread: Planned trip to visit female friend studying abroad and confused about dynamic

  1. #1

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    Planned trip to visit female friend studying abroad and confused about dynamic

    I (21M) am visiting one of my best friends (21F) who is studying abroad in a few months after recently breaking up with my long term girlfriend. I feel like my dynamic with my friend has shifted and not sure how the trip will go.

    Earlier this year, I ended a multi-year relationship due to the realization that my ex and I would be ending up on different coasts after graduating college. While the breakup was hard, I couldn’t have imagined it happening any more amicably.

    Fast forward a few months — I decided to book a trip during a school break to visit one of my closest female friends from before college who is abroad in Europe (let’s call her Chloe). Chloe and I have what I can only describe as a *platonic* relationship for the last seven years — being there for each other throughout our respective relationship(s), school struggles, and successes/failures. I should mention that I have always prided myself on having a number of close, platonic female friendships — partly due to being in such a longterm relationship and also because I have always valued having close male and female friends.

    Beyond occasional jokes from friends about how close Chloe and I were, I had never pictured us as romantically compatible. We’ve stayed with each other at our respective schools, hung out 1 on 1 at home frequently, and chat every couple days without issue. While I can recognize she is traditionally attractive, I never saw our friendship moving further than really tight friends.

    However, I’ve noticed a slight shift in the way we interact over the past couple months and increasingly since my breakup. When Chloe and I were last home together, it felt as if she was…more in my physical presence. Hugs hello/goodbye felt a bit longer than usual and our conversations have since touched on more “mature” subjects, albeit purely from an advice/sharing perspective.

    As I booked and now prepare to visit Chloe in Europe in a few weeks, I find myself worrying about how the trip will go. I’m confused around if there has been an *actual* change in our dynamic or if it is in my head, especially following an emotionally charged break up. Chloe has put together a fantastic itinerary for the trip and I am incredibly excited to see her -- there is no logical reason why I should be worried. I am more having trouble picturing how it will *feel* being together for a week with this shift in dynamic. I should mention I am staying with her for the trip, which has happened during visits to each other’s colleges without issue in the past.

    If this is all in my head, then I don’t want to ruin the trip by acting differently than usual. If there is a more romantic dynamic shifting, then I am worried about messing up our existing close friendship.

    Any advice from those that have had similar experiences with platonic friends is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    If she advanced her attention on you before, with this trip, she might further that and have that discussion with you of trying romance. You're going to have to decide ahead of time what your response will be before you leave.

    It's great when a long friendship sparks into a romance, because you already know each others ethics and characters, and that you enjoy each other's company.

    There is a risk, nonetheless, that the friendship wouldn't translate well into romance. And then, yes, once you've had sex with someone, it's a point of no return. Sure, the friendship could recover, but only until each of you got another bf or gf. Because a new partner will ask you, "You're awfully close to that one friend. Were you two ever an item?"

    And then you have to be honest, and no self respecting woman will stay with you any longer when you're spending time with a woman you slept with.

    Life is full of risks. It's up to you to weigh the pros and cons for each major decision, and do what you feel is best. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    What do you want out of this ideally? Stay friends or become romantically involved? In your post it's not clear what YOU want.

    She is studying abroad. Supposedly, you broke up with your ex because of that very same reason i.e. because of the impending long distance. If you are not interested in a long-distance relationship then there is no point in exploring anything romantic with your friend and all you need to do is be clear with her about that.

    It sounds like you may be on rebound mode. If you really value your friendship you need to think long and hard about your motives and what YOU really want. Once you know, it's about setting the appropriate healthy boundaries. It takes two to tango. If you don't want to become romantically involved, a real friend will not force you nor drop you because of it. Then again, real friends also do not use each other to rebound either.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Does she have a bf? It's just a trip. How long will she be abroad? Why not stay friends and when you're ready start dating locally. If you use her to get over your gf/a rebound you'll ruin the friendship.
    Originally Posted by ThrowRA
    I find myself worrying about how the trip will go. I’m confused around if there has been an *actual* change in our dynamic or if it is in my head, especially following an emotionally charged break up. Chloe has put together a fantastic itinerary for the trip and I am incredibly excited to see her

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    If you were unavailable previously to Chloe and she has a crush on you, yes, you could become lovers. She may now realize things have changed and she has a shot. But you will also have to switch your mind from freindzone to lover.

    You'll find out when you meet her. Some things in life you just have to let play out, and discover for yourself.

    If you want to take the plunge and see if the relationship will be more than platonic, kiss her.

    Friends are good too - if you want to stay friends, just don't kiss her. Simple. You can only have one lover (supposed to), but you can't have too many friends!

  7. #6
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    Please do not attempt to plant a kiss on her! I can't imagine how awkward it would be having to stay with her after trying to force a potentially unwelcome kiss on her.

    How about talking to her? Tell her you'd like to see if dating each other would be a good idea. If she says yes, great! If she says she prefers to remain friends then at least you don't have to try to live down an attempt to kiss her.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Well, when a woman wants to be kissed, you will know it. You're not an inexperienced virgin who can't read the tells, I'm sure so if she's showing you that she wants to be kissed then kiss her but just don't do it if there is zero indication she is open to it.

    I should mention I am staying with her for the trip, which has happened during visits to each other’s colleges without issue in the past.
    Will you be sleeping in the same bed? Have you slept in the same bed with her before?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Coming out of a long term relationship, even if the break up was amicable, does leave you feeling lonely and very vulnerable in terms of wanting to fill that void.

    When all you have to go on is that your hugs seem longer....honestly, I think you are rebounding and looking for the lowest available branch to latch onto. Chloe is and has always been nothing more than your platonic friend. So on that note, carry on as just that and try not to read more into anything.

    The other factor too, is you are only 21 and you've spent your college years in an LTR. Do yourself a favor and take some time out to be single. Meaning figure out who you are as a man outside of relationships. Have some fun, let your hair down, date around a bit, sow some wild oats. Do not seek to jump into another relationship just because that's what's familiar and therefore comfortable. Be uncomfortable for a bit and find comfort in that if that makes any sense. Put on your adventure hat. Enjoy the fun trip, enjoy seeing Europe but do it as a single guy without obligations and don't try to muddy it up with relationshipy thinking. Do not try to latch on.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThatwasThen
    Well, when a woman wants to be kissed, you will know it.
    - Guys don't always know, can't read the signs that well, and don't have telepathy. I'm just sayin'.

    Whatever you do, don't ever ask. That can actually be a turnoff.

    Yeah, and if you do want to remain just friends, don't sleep in the same bed together either.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gary Snyder
    - Guys don't always know, can't read the signs that well, and don't have telepathy. I'm just sayin'.
    I'm sure that guys know when a girl wants to be kissed. Sometimes they don't know if a chick likes them for more than a friend though and that is what is confusing because too many cross platonic relationship boundaries this day and age and sleep (sleep only) with one another while using each other as their cuddle teddy bears instead of saving that for when they know a girl wants to be kissed.

    Whatever you do, don't ever ask. That can actually be a turnoff.
    Well if a guy is a clueless as you say they can be, then in this day and age of Me Too they are better off to ask. If she is into him... it would never be a turn off.

    Yeah, and if you do want to remain just friends, don't sleep in the same bed together either.
    ... that I defo agree with. No crossing platonic relationship boundaries that exist between male and females.


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