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Thread: Can good friendship ever become more?

  1. #151
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    Originally Posted by SonicHighway
    I really don't get the sense she's "bragging" to me, or anything like that. It's just, I think this stuff is really the main thing going on in her life, at the moment, so it's what's on her mind for discussion the most.

    I can't say one way or another for sure whether I think she'd be open to me. I mean, I certainly agree that she doesn't seem to see me in that way right now, but is it not possible she's simply never thought about it because she never thought I, myself, would express the interest? In a manner of speaking, I did technically have to "friend zone" her for the majority of the time we knew each other, since she was in a committed relationship, so I don't see why it wouldn't be possible that she's not considering me simply because she doesn't realize it would be an option.
    Well no - people choose what to share no matter what is going on or not going on in their lives. It's telling that she chooses to share what you described.

    Reread your post as many times as you need to see how you are twisting yourself in a pretzel. I promise you having been on both sides of this situation many times that it is never ever this difficult when two people click on a romantic level if they are both single and available. Meaning -sure there can be obstacles like geography, a spouse/significant other, age (meaning a teenager or young 20 something in the middle of intense schooling with no time for a relationship with anyone), but when you have two single people it typically -with rare exception! - is not this hard at all to figure out whether there's potential for a romantic, committed relationship.

    Of course anything is possible. But is that really your standard for how you invest your time and emotions? No one who is interested would forget to consider whether it was an option, I promise you -the pull is just too strong when there's chemistry and a click and that feeling of potential.

    Here's one example (lest you respond that that was just one example - it is just one example -it's not how it always goes but it shows what I mean).

    So there was a single man and woman. They'd been engaged years before and ended things. Been on civil terms for 7 years but with really limited contact. One day they decided to meet just to catch up after years apart - he was in town but didn't live there anymore -in fact he lived about 1,000 miles away and in fact he'd recently ended a one year relationship. They met with zero romantic motives. But wouldn't you know it -sparks flew. But there were obstacles -geography, their past with their cancelled wedding and hurt feelings, his recent ending of his relationship.

    On the other hand he thought he'd have to leave town about a month later, for months. He consulted with his friends for advice -I mean, long distance is hard and they had that past, etc. So they met two more times, platonically. The second time, lovely evening, totally platonic -neither person daring to mention the sparks -the elephant in the room. Time three was two weeks later. Lovely evening and at the end of the evening the man asked the woman if she'd like to get back together. It took the woman about 20 seconds to respond because she was nervous, she was teary - but the pull was that strong and the pull won over everything else. So she said yes. What followed was a short conversation about what yes meant - the commitment part, the goal (marriage and family), the geography, the beginning of the relocation discussion should things work. Oh and they also talked about the recent ex girlfriend who wanted him back and who was still in his life because they had worked together.

    In 3 meetings, and in less than an hour talk, they became an item. They still are over 15 years later, married, kid, the works Why did it work? Because we wanted it to, the end. Because when you want it to, you don't overthink, you make it work, you accept the obstacles because you want to be with that person. And the other person wants to be with you. It's really that simple. Please don't invest your time and emotions in this person -she doesn't want it 100% -will she possibly want it in the future - sure, anything's possible. Believe me if she realizes it she'll do what it takes to come find you.

    I've been where you are on both sides- it's painful on both sides - the overanalysis twists your tummy (or head if headaches are more your thing than stomach issues) in a pretzel too. You bore your friends with the overthinking/the what ifs, the reading into the minutae that you insist show she is interested. It's not worth it - and even if it does work out if there's that level of imbalance the relationship is not healthy even if it survives.

  2. #152
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    Just say something already. This limbo you're keeping yourself in is kind of hard to understand.

    I think you're afraid she'll say "no" so you'd rather stay in limbo. But it makes no sense.
    Yeah, I know. It's just tough, because I just want to do it all as "right" as I possibly can. I want to find the right words, I want to find the right time, I want to make sure I can express it confidently and comfortably.

    I wouldn't say I'm afraid of rejection. After all, I'm already expecting that to be the case. I'm more worried about what comes after, to be honest.

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Of course anything is possible. But is that really your standard for how you invest your time and emotions? No one who is interested would forget to consider whether it was an option, I promise you -the pull is just too strong when there's chemistry and a click and that feeling of potential.
    I get what you're saying, and I'm not trying to argue, per se. I just question whether it's actually that "quick" of a decision in most situations. I'm sure there are plenty of instances of people who didn't necessarily feel some strong "pull" in a short span of time, but eventually grew to see things in each other that they hadn't seen at first.

    Heck, when I've vented about dating struggles elsewhere, that's something a lot of people always tell me -- you're not necessarily going to "hit it off" super well with someone on your first date, or even first few dates, and sometimes you have to stick with it for it to actually develop into something.

    Yes, I think when there are obvious deal breakers or red flags in play that negatively affect attraction inherently, that's going to disqualify people pretty quickly. But I just wonder if romantic chemistry is really THAT noticeable THAT quickly, in "most" cases.

  3. #153
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
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    It's been four years. That is not what I'd consider "quick".

    You use a lot of word salad but bottom line, I believe you're afraid she'll say "no", things will get awkward and you'll never see or hear from her again. You'd rather be on the periphery of her life than have to find someone to actually date and have a relationship with.

    But hey, your choice!

  4. #154
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    It's been four years. That is not what I'd consider "quick".
    That entire time, she was in a relationship, they were living together, and she was fully expecting they were going to get married and have kids. I was never going to be on her mind romantically when she was in that situation. She's only been single for a little under two months, now, and we've only hung out 2-3 times. She's still trying to figure a lot of things out, with him being out of the picture.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to give myself false hope, but I don't think she'd end her 5 year relationship, realize she's in love with me after 6-7 weeks and a couple hang outs, and then get with me. She's still trying to get a handle on life now. Yes, she's dating around, but that's just part of it for her. She hasn't exactly found someone yet that she's "head over heels" for, just guys she's going on some dates with and seeing what develops.

    I don't think it's impossible to think that I simply haven't occurred to her as an option, especially if she thinks I, myself, have written her off as an option. That's really all I'm saying.

    You use a lot of word salad but bottom line, I believe you're afraid she'll say "no", things will get awkward and you'll never see or hear from her again. You'd rather be on the periphery of her life than have to find someone to actually date and have a relationship with.

    But hey, your choice!
    That is my primary fear, yes. I don't know. I don't want to lose the best friend I've ever had, but suppressing my feelings is very challenging. I keep thinking maybe I can say something, but then I think maybe I shouldn't. And I keep justifying it back and forth in my head.

    The thing is, too, she's not the reason I can't meet someone to have a relationship with. I didn't even fall for her until the last couple of months. I wasn't anywhere close to finding anyone for the last several years, and if this friend weren't in my life right now, I wouldn't be any closer, either. I'd still be where I am now... Unable to meet new people very easily, and unable to spark romantic chemistry when I do meet people.

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  6. #155
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    It's been four years. That is not what I'd consider "quick".

    You use a lot of word salad but bottom line, I believe you're afraid she'll say "no", things will get awkward and you'll never see or hear from her again. You'd rather be on the periphery of her life than have to find someone to actually date and have a relationship with.

    But hey, your choice!
    Yes, this is how I felt about it too and is why I gave you the example I did.

  7. #156
    Gold Member ShySoul's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SonicHighway
    That is my primary fear, yes. I don't know. I don't want to lose the best friend I've ever had, but suppressing my feelings is very challenging. I keep thinking maybe I can say something, but then I think maybe I shouldn't. And I keep justifying it back and forth in my head.

    The thing is, too, she's not the reason I can't meet someone to have a relationship with. I didn't even fall for her until the last couple of months. I wasn't anywhere close to finding anyone for the last several years, and if this friend weren't in my life right now, I wouldn't be any closer, either. I'd still be where I am now... Unable to meet new people very easily, and unable to spark romantic chemistry when I do meet people.
    As I've said before, I applaud you for wanting to give her time and space. You're a gentleman and that's going to be great for whichever girl is lucky enough to end up with you. But you're falling into the classic fear trap. You have gone back and forth for weeks and can continue to do that forever. But one day you'll wake up and realize you missed that chance. You say it's not easy to meet new people and have romantic chemistry with someone. Well you have someone right in front of you that you do know and that there is something between you. Maybe it is just a friendship. Maybe it's everything you've dreamed of. Maybe it's something in between. Unless you say something, you'll never know. You'll be throwing in the towel without even getting in the ring. If she is talking to other guys, she doesn't sound hung up on the ex. So you can't hide behind that. From everything we've heard, I don't think she'll just drop your friendship. So I'm taking away that excuse. What's left is the fear of rejection. I get it more then you know. I let that fear control me for 22 years. And that first time that I didn't..... it ended poorly. But it showed me I could do it and survive. And the second time was a much better result. So take a chance. You really have nothing to lose.

    As far as finding the right words, go back through what you've told us. I'm sure there are some good gems in here. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or rehearsed. Just speak from the heart and be honest. Something along the lines of: "We've been friends for so many years now and I hope you know how much you mean to me and how much I value our friendship. The past few weeks I've started to see you as more then a friend and I'm wondering if we should see if there is anything more between us. I don't want you to feel pressured or uncomfortable, I would never want to do anything to lose our friendship, but my feelings have been driving me crazy and I needed to get them out there. I care a lot about you and think it's worth the risk." Or whatever you are feeling in the moment. Don't think so much, just go.

  8. #157
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    Originally Posted by SonicHighway
    I mean, she's explicitly told me that she wants me in her life long term

    Maybe. I dunno. I'm not a believer in "the one", and so I think that if there were anyone out there I'd be compatible with, I'd have met at least one or two by now. I'm just really not sure it's in the cards for me.

    The thing is, too, I've seen so many people, especially in my family, who end up in relationships where there's really no love, and it was just a matter of "This person is good enough, I guess", and that just seems so... Sad, and bleak, to me. Like, they're only with each other because being with someone is better than being alone.

    Because of how hard it is for me to ever connect with anyone, I feel like it's much more likely that I end up going the way of the rest of my family. Ending up with someone just for the sake of having someone instead of no one. I don't want that, but... I also don't want to be alone forever, and it doesn't feel likely that true love is in the cards for me, from what I can see.
    Okay, I missed these comments earlier, so I'll backtrack a bit buddy.

    She has said she wants you in her life long term. The friendship is not likely going to be ruined by telling her. As long as you're honest with each other and nice about things, this sounds like a friendship that can endure.

    There is a chance you have met someone you are compatible with. Personally, I think it's this girl. But even if it's not you never really know what could happen. Maybe another girl did like you but was as shy or nervous as you and never said anything. Maybe you've met someone but haven't had that moment that creates a spark and things change between the two of you. Or maybe you'll find someone compatible next month. You don't know what will happen in life. I mean, no one thought 2020 would bring a pandemic, right? You just have to make the most of what's there in front of you and have faith that a winning hand will be dealt eventually. When life gives you an opening, you need to grab onto it and take the chance.

    If there is one thing I know, it's that we don't have to end up like our family. I've seen my family go through all kinds of horrible relationships. I've seen people settle. And I've decided I won't be like that. If you don't want that to happen, it doesn't have to. I also get lonely and wonder if I'll be alone forever. But I keep faith that one day things will get better. And the rare moments that I have a chance to make it better, I'll take them. Hasn't worked out the way I hope yet, but I'll keep trying and believing until they do.

  9. #158
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    "As I've said before, I applaud you for wanting to give her time and space. You're a gentleman and that's going to be great for whichever girl is lucky enough to end up with you. "

    In this case I think it has nothing to do with being a gentleman. He's holding back because he knows or knows most likely she's not into him in that way. There's nothing gentlemanly about holding back from asking a woman out on a date - what's the point? Gentlemanly is thinking of the other person's feelings in whatever is going on - and in a dating sense if the man senses the woman is not ready to be kissed, he waits until he senses that she is or he asks her in a lighthearted way. For example. Gentlemanly is just another way of saying a person has manners in the caring and thoughtful sense. He's not holding back to be thoughtful or caring -if he felt she was into him they'd likely have been going on dates already.

    Also she's asked for no space -she's happy to buddy buddy with him and go on about all the men who make passes at her.

  10. #159
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    if he felt she was into him they'd likely have been going on dates already.
    But again, that's just not reasonable for our situation. As I said, when I first met her, she was already living with her recent ex, and she believed they were going to marry and have kids. Unless I was some super amazing, perfect "10 out of 10" guy, she wasn't going to dump her boyfriend, move him out, and start dating me. And she's only been single now for 7-ish weeks, in which she and I have hung out twice (technically 3 times, but I count the first one as a single time, because it was over the course of two back to back days). Unless she and I were having some kind of inappropriate affair while they were still together (and we were not...), she wasn't going to dump him, realize she's madly in love with me, and start dating me.

    I'm not trying to argue that I DO still have a chance. I honestly don't know whether I do or not. All I'm saying is, the nature of our friendship has simply never allowed either of us to consider the other as an option. We've been friends for four years, and she's only been single for less than two months. She might not think of me that way right now, but I don't think it's "set in stone" that she can never see me differently. That's all I'm saying. I think she's dating around now because she's been with the same guy for five years, and she's just curious to see who's out there, to meet new people and have some new experiences. I don't necessarily feel that's a slight against me as a romantic prospect. She's just trying to figure her life out, and have some new experiences, and get some fresh perspectives.

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Also she's asked for no space -she's happy to buddy buddy with him and go on about all the men who make passes at her.
    I mean, it's not like we're attached at the hip or anything. Thus far, we've hung out once every 2-3 weeks, and we only talk via text maybe 2-3 times a week. So, there is some degree of "space" there. And when she tells me about her dating endeavors, I don't hear it as her "bragging" to me, and I don't feel like she's "putting me in my place" and saying it in a tone of "Hey, FRIEND, look at all these guys that are into me! Isn't that so cool, FRIEND, BEST BUDDY?! Aren't we just such good FRIENDS?! FRIEND!". She doesn't have a lot going on in her life right now. She's working from home. She has a pretty small social circle and she's not been getting out and doing much due to the pandemic. Her new dating life is just the biggest thing she has going on in her life at the moment. So of course she's going to tell me about it. What else does she have to talk about? At least with the guy she's dating, she's meeting them for the first time, so there's a lot of "Tell me about yourself" discussions to be had, but she and I have known each other for years, and we practically know everything about each other already.

    Originally Posted by ShySoul
    She has said she wants you in her life long term. The friendship is not likely going to be ruined by telling her. As long as you're honest with each other and nice about things, this sounds like a friendship that can endure.
    Yeah, I mean... I sure hope so.

    Originally Posted by ShySoul
    There is a chance you have met someone you are compatible with.
    Eh. I don't know about that. When I think back to all the women I've met in my life, I can't think of any encounters that stand out as something that could have been more than friendly. Is it possible something COULD'VE developed if I'd explored things further with someone? I guess. But even then, I can't recall any instances where there was even enough hint of mutual attraction to go on a date or two to find out.

    Originally Posted by ShySoul
    you never really know what could happen. Maybe another girl did like you but was as shy or nervous as you and never said anything. Maybe you've met someone but haven't had that moment that creates a spark and things change between the two of you. Or maybe you'll find someone compatible next month. You don't know what will happen in life. I mean, no one thought 2020 would bring a pandemic, right? You just have to make the most of what's there in front of you and have faith that a winning hand will be dealt eventually. When life gives you an opening, you need to grab onto it and take the chance.
    Well, yeah, it's true that no one can "predict the future", but unless I can significantly change my current "status quo", I can guarantee I'm not going to be with someone any time soon or even within the next few years. Right now, I have no avenues to meet new people regularly. I can't come up with new things I'm interested in participating in that would get me meeting people and mingling, and honestly, I don't feel I have the time or energy or interest to invest in "new ideas". So, some awesome girl isn't going to just fall out of the sky in front of me one day. If I'm not meeting people, I won't find someone.

    I've tried dating apps/ sites for years, because on paper, you'd think that makes sense for someone like me, but it's just a bust. I barely get matches, and when I do, the women just don't have much or any interest in actually communicating with me.

    Even when I was able to meet people when I was younger, there's no mutual attraction, ever. Which is the next problem. Everyone is just an "acquaintance", or a "friend" at best. There's no "chemistry", no flirtiness, no attraction. There's never anything there. Yes, I definitely have to figure out how to actually meet people, but even once I've overcome that hurdle, I'm still saddled with the problem that I'm not even a slight "match" for anyone.

    Originally Posted by ShySoul
    If she is talking to other guys, she doesn't sound hung up on the ex.
    Maybe, but she has also explicitly said, even as recently as a couple days ago, that she's "not looking for something serious right now". So, I'm trying to keep that in mind, and be patient, but it's difficult because I feel like when she does decide to change her mind, it's going to be very sudden. And I have absolutely no idea when that will happen. It could be six months from now. It could be one month from now. It could be next week, for all I know. I don't want to rush anything, and I don't want to blow my chance simply because I brought it up at a time when she's not at all ready for something serious. But at the same time, it's so easy to miss whatever window of possibility there may be.

    Originally Posted by ShySoul
    As far as finding the right words, go back through what you've told us. I'm sure there are some good gems in here. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or rehearsed. Just speak from the heart and be honest. Something along the lines of: "We've been friends for so many years now and I hope you know how much you mean to me and how much I value our friendship. The past few weeks I've started to see you as more then a friend and I'm wondering if we should see if there is anything more between us. I don't want you to feel pressured or uncomfortable, I would never want to do anything to lose our friendship, but my feelings have been driving me crazy and I needed to get them out there. I care a lot about you and think it's worth the risk." Or whatever you are feeling in the moment. Don't think so much, just go.
    I've dipped back and forth between wondering if I could tell her I feel something, or wondering if I should skip that and just ask for a date. I don't know what makes more sense, and while I worry that talking about my feelings might be a bit too "heavy", I also worry that if I don't get to put them out there (as in, if I just ask for a date and she says no, and that's it), I'll continue struggling with not getting proper closure on my actual feelings. I have no idea.

    Anyway, I know I'm "reading too much into things", but there were some peculiar moments the other night. So, my friend and I went to visit and have dinner with an old former coworker of ours. My friend playfully got me to drink lots of wine, and I allowed her to get me "drunk" (I've never actually been drunk before a couple days ago, though I was still coherent enough to remember much of the evening). While drunk, I was being playful with my friend, and at one point, our coworker friend said "Aw, you guys are cute". The two of them also had gone off together and chatted about I don't know what for a while, through the night. As we were leaving, our coworker friend hugged me and said "Thanks for coming, so good to see you again", and then she whispered something in my ear. I was drunk, and I couldn't understand her, so I asked what she said, and she did the whole hugging and "Thanks for coming!" thing before whispering to me again. I still didn't catch it, and she did it one more time, and I still didn't get it. I texted the coworker later to ask what she had whispered, and she said it was "Be more open". I didn't understand, as I wasn't exactly shy or quiet that night, heh. I also didn't get why she seemed to want that to be private between me and her, and not my friend. The part of me that wants to read into things wonders if that was some sort of "hint" to me from our old coworker, but I don't know. I was very confused by that.

    I was still pretty obviously drunk when my friend drove us back to her place, and while on the drive, she randomly asked me "Do you think I seem different?". I didn't really understand the question, and my inebriated brain didn't think to really clarify. I assumed she was asking if I thought she seemed like a different person now that she's out of her old relationship. All I could think of to say was that I felt like she'd been a little distant and closed off with me for the last year, and that it was nice to finally be able to talk to her more and spend time with her again more. I don't entirely remember how she responded, but I do recall at one point in that discussion, she told me that she'd been "done" mentally with her ex for that last year or so, but she was afraid to end it because she worried he was going to take their mutual pet (with which she had a very strong attachment to) away from her. In any case, I found the question peculiar, and more so, I found it odd that she'd ask something like that when I'm pretty clearly drunk, when I've made it pretty clear to her in the past that she can always ask me my thoughts on anything and I'll always tell her what I think or feel about it.

  11. #160
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    Please stop telling yourself that she's sharing about all that male attention because she has nothing else to talk about. Does she read books? Follow sports or current events? Enjoy music or art or restaurants? Have women friends who she can share about without gossiping?

    Of course anything is possible. You just can't be her true friend while you're romantically attracted to her. All I meant was if you thought she was interested in you you'd be very open to at least discussing it even if she wasn't ready. And she likely is ready otherwise she'd dislike all the male attention. You're waiting because of strategic reasons.

    Moments - sure -just don't overthink that. You will know she is interested in dating you when she responds enthusiastically to you inviting her out on a date. Or asks you out.

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