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Can good friendship ever become more?


SonicHighway
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All I had to do was not fall for her, and I just couldn't stop myself.

 

Now that's really not fair on yourself. We can't help who we fall for, its one of the great mysteries of life. If we could could chose it would make all our lives easier sometimes!

 

You haven't done anything wrong, other than being human.... please don't be so hard on yourself.

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Now that's really not fair on yourself. We can't help who we fall for, its one of the great mysteries of life. If we could could chose it would make all our lives easier sometimes!

 

You haven't done anything wrong, other than being human.... please don't be so hard on yourself.

 

Ouch. You're a bit hard on yourself there. Plenty of fish in the sea! I know you're feeling crushed right now. Just leave it for awhile and give yourself time to bounce back. I don't think anyone can control what they feel if they like someone. Time will heal all of this.

 

I know, but... What if it doesn't? What if I'm so attached that I can't ever let go of these feelings? What happens when she's out dating, finding a new relationship, building a life with someone, getting married, starting a family, etc., and I'm sitting back watching and wishing it could've been me? How can I ever date or find love for myself when the woman I'll always really want is my friend?

 

Maybe I'm being hard on myself, but... I've really screwed up. This is probably going to negatively affect certain areas of my life for a very long time, and for all I know, it may even end up hurting the friendship somewhere down the road, too.

 

I just... I haven't had a lot of good things going on my life, like, ever. I've never had good, close friends, I've never had anything worthwhile with anyone. I've finally had something good for the last few years, but now it's ruined no matter what. I either take a further chance and very likely end up hurting her, or I try hard as I can to fight it for the rest of my life. I just can't believe I've ruined the one good thing I finally had in life.

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I know, but... What if it doesn't? What if I'm so attached that I can't ever let go of these feelings? What happens when she's out dating, finding a new relationship, building a life with someone, getting married, starting a family, etc., and I'm sitting back watching and wishing it could've been me? How can I ever date or find love for myself when the woman I'll always really want is my friend?

 

and this sadly (and I know you wont want to hear it) is why at this current time, you can't stay friends with her.

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Sonic, don't let this get you down. I thought this was a crush but it's a lot more than that it appears. I think you've hinged all your hopes and self-confidence on this person and it's bordering on a very unhealthy obsession where you're beginning to question your self-worth. You need get yourself out of this. She's not the one for you and neither is anyone else who doesn't see in you what you see in them. Keep telling yourself that you're worth far more than that, no matter how old the friend, how good looking the person or wherever you may be in your life (high, low, anywhere).

 

This isn't healthy or okay anymore. Start engaging with more friends or look for interest groups and friendships outside of this one person. Round things out a little bit. If you're not ready to tell her how you feel or risk the friendship, give yourself a rough timeline to gather yourself - maybe one or two weeks to take a deep breath and straighten yourself out.

 

The honest truth is if she's a real friend at all, although things may feel rough for a little while, that friendship will recover over time. It's that time inbetween that you may potentially lose that's causing all that anxiety. That's where other friends and support networks kick in so that your self-confidence doesn't take such a hard hit.

 

Don't ever place so much importance on someone who may not see you in the same way. You deserve more than that.

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Don't ever place so much importance on someone who may not see you in the same way. You deserve more than that.

 

Well, it's not so much that I've placed all of my "romantic hopes and dreams" on her.

 

It's just... Friend or otherwise, I don't want a life that doesn't include her. I just don't. And I don't want to hurt her, and I can't see any way to make my feelings known that wouldn't do so.

 

But of course, like I said, I know that torturing myself forever is not a good option, either.

 

I wish I were better at meeting and connecting with people, and that I could have a wider social life and a more normal dating life. But I've never been able to do those things, and at this stage in my life, I don't see that changing much.

 

If I push away the only good friend I have, then I'm left with nothing, and with no one. No, I don't want to torture myself for the rest of my life, but being alone would also be torturous as well. It's another lose-lose scenario; either be in the sidelines to the girl I have feelings for, or be completely alone.

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Well, it's not so much that I've placed all of my "romantic hopes and dreams" on her.

 

It's just... Friend or otherwise, I don't want a life that doesn't include her. I just don't. And I don't want to hurt her, and I can't see any way to make my feelings known that wouldn't do so.

 

But of course, like I said, I know that torturing myself forever is not a good option, either.

 

I wish I were better at meeting and connecting with people, and that I could have a wider social life and a more normal dating life. But I've never been able to do those things, and at this stage in my life, I don't see that changing much.

 

If I push away the only good friend I have, then I'm left with nothing, and with no one. No, I don't want to torture myself for the rest of my life, but being alone would also be torturous as well. It's another lose-lose scenario; either be in the sidelines to the girl I have feelings for, or be completely alone.

 

Have you ever been diagnosed with depression or seen a doctor about these kinds of thoughts? They're what I'm trying to address as it's these thoughts that are preventing you from seeing anything else but this person and they're very negative. I don't think it's healthy either to presume that nothing will change or that you'll be left with nothing or no one. These self-fulfilling negative prophecies keep you stuck and in a rut. I do think you should see someone about these thoughts - they're keeping you trapped. It's one thing to feel down and another to take a negative experience and unfold the rest of your life as if it depended on that one experience. This is what I mean by an unhealthy obsession.

 

We all go through life with varying levels and kinds of disappointments. You can't let that define your entire being or the rest of your life or it will be your life. Those thoughts are hurting you.

 

A person can come and go as they please because there's agency and autonomy in others - this is out of our power to control. We all have a right to walk away from people we don't find attractive, compatible or people we don't like. There's a total loss of respect or agency in all this for yourself and for this person. She has a right to decline any romantic feelings towards you and you do have a right to walk away from an unfulfilling situation. That lack of agency (lack of belief and faith in yourself) and negative thinking is what I think you should address with a doctor or someone who can help you figure out why you keep thinking in this pattern.

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A person can come and go as they please because there's agency and autonomy in others - this is out of our power to control. We all have a right to walk away from people we don't find attractive, compatible or people we don't like. There's a total loss of respect or agency in all this for yourself and for this person. She has a right to decline any romantic feelings towards you and you do have a right to walk away from an unfulfilling situation. That lack of agency (lack of belief and faith in yourself) and negative thinking is what I think you should address with a doctor or someone who can help you figure out why you keep thinking in this pattern.

 

Sure, sure. I mean, I don't necessarily think there's something like deep depression in play. I just think that I'm currently in a bad place, and it's difficult to see any positives right now.

 

I just feel like, no matter what choice I make in this case, it's going to result in something very negative. I put myself in the worst possible situation I could have, and now I'm frozen, because every option is bad, and scary. I just don't know what to do.

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Even if you manage to keep your own feelings in check, and accept that you can live with seeing her date others. A potential new boyfriend is probably not going to be happy with another guy being this close with his girl.

 

I think, you are going to have to make it more clear about how you feel to her and then take things from there. If you can live with always being the friend, go for it.....but from my own experiences and others on here, you are just going to keep hurting yourself.......

 

and you my friend deserve better than that.

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Even if you manage to keep your own feelings in check, and accept that you can live with seeing her date others. A potential new boyfriend is probably not going to be happy with another guy being this close with his girl.

 

I think, you are going to have to make it more clear about how you feel to her and then take things from there. If you can live with always being the friend, go for it.....but from my own experiences and others on here, you are just going to keep hurting yourself.......

 

and you my friend deserve better than that.

 

Yeah, that's something I've thought a lot about as well. I don't think she's given it much thought, and honestly, I think she's hard-headed enough that she'd put up a fight to keep me around as a friend, with her next partner, if it becomes an issue. Not that I'd want her to be in the position because of me. But, I don't think she's thought that far ahead about it.

 

I dunno. I just really don't know what the right thing to do is, and it really sucks. I can't bear the idea of hurting her by making her think I've had ulterior motives all along, and I also can't bear the thought of always having feelings for her. And I'm worried that it's doomed no matter what because of how unlikely it is that her next boyfriend will be cool with me.

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Sorry about all you're feeling right now.

 

Just want to echo what Rose is saying in that I think you could use some help in understanding the roots of these negative, obsessive thoughts so you can create some new ones, new patterns, even new ways of connecting to people. Think of them like weeds that need to be tugged up, for better seeds, healthier crops.

 

Because honestly? Her response to you was, at best, vague. And there's a reason for that. You did not lead with being curious about her romantically, but with having "no chance." You made the thing that is her all about you, and your perceptions of yourself. Put another way? You led, vaguely, with your greatest fear and ensured she'd reflect it back to you, confirming your fatalistic thoughts and keeping the door closed to having any real clarity about the potential here. In the headspace you're in, I can't even see an outcome where she said something explicit—"Sonic, you have a chance, I'm right here..."—and you not finding a way to interpret that as hopeless.

 

Are you sincerely interested in her romantically? Or are you more interested in her reinforcing an idea that you are romantically doomed? There's a difference, in that the former is about connecting with another human being while the later is about using another human being to feed a set of feelings and assumptions that, for whatever reason, have become a source of comfort and identity. And if you believe, genuinely, in the deep fabric of your friendship? Well, you have to trust that it can withstand some awkwardness.

 

This is just me, my own belief system, but I think there is a limitation to how much we can feel for another, or how long those feelings can simmer, if the feelings aren't returned in some manner. So when Big Feelings are swirling and magnifying with no clear input from another? I think those feelings are more self-generated than generated by another, or connection with another. Might be worth thinking about a bit.

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Are you sincerely interested in her romantically? Or are you more interested in her reinforcing an idea that you are romantically doomed? There's a difference, in that the former is about connecting with another human being while the later is about using another human being to feed a set of feelings and assumptions that, for whatever reason, have b ecome a source of comfort and identity. And if you believe, genuinely, in the deep fabric of your friendship? Well, you have to trust that it can withstand some awkwardness.

 

I feel like I am genuinely interested, yes. I think she is wonderful, and I would really enjoy trying to connect with her on a deeper level.

 

So... I'm debating about something, and I don't know if it's a good idea or bad. If I have a moment alone with her tonight, I might try to have a certain discussion. Though, because tonight is supposed to be a festive occasion, I don't know if tonight is the right time. Then again, it's going to be 2-3 weeks before I can see her again.

 

Despite how I talk about it here, I don't feel like I'm full blown too far gone with it. I say that because I don't want this to sound like I'm coming up with "lies" to feed to her.

 

So, what I'm thinking of bringing up to her is that I'm concerned that I might eventually really fall for her, because I've been down a similar road before (I have), and that I'm going to try my best not to let myself get there, but that I can start to see myself going down that road.

 

If the conversation doesn't immediately go south, I would like to further clarify to her and share that I believe I may be demisexual. Which is true. I've never shared that, because I thought it would raise questions while she was still in her relationship.

 

But, again, I don't really want to spoil any moods tonight, so it's definitely something I'm going to play by ear. I'd hate to keep stewing on this for weeks before I can see her again. But I don't want to ruin the night.

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So, what I'm thinking of bringing up to her is that I'm concerned that I might eventually really fall for her, because I've been down a similar road before (I have), and that I'm going to try my best not to let myself get there, but that I can start to see myself going down that road.

 

Must it be so heavy?

 

This is just me, but I'd probably bring it up in a much less loaded way. Something like: "Hey, want to hear a crazy idea I've been thinking about here and there? You and I, on a date, because you're great and I think it could be great. Thoughts?"

 

Or something.

 

General point being? Rather than make it this dramatic, self-centric, and passive-aggressive thing in which you dump a load of gigantic concepts on her back—falling for her, similar roads in your past, trying "your best" to avoid the pull of the fall, and so on—you're just clearly and confidently (without a lot of weight) telling her that you'd like to see about a vibe.

 

To which she will say...whatever she says! Key is to be able to listen to what she says, like for real, rather than twist it into something you want to hear, be that something negative or positive. Just listen, and respect the words. Then listen to your own feelings, and respect them. Then go from there.

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Agree, this is a great way to bring about the idea without coming off too strong, yet not getting lost in the tiptoeing shuffle.

Must it be so heavy? This is just me, but I'd probably bring it up in a much less loaded way. Something like: "Hey, want to hear a crazy idea I've been thinking about here and there? You and I, on a date, because you're great and I think it could be great. Thoughts?"
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Must it be so heavy?

 

This is just me, but I'd probably bring it up in a much less loaded way. Something like: "Hey, want to hear a crazy idea I've been thinking about here and there? You and I, on a date, because you're great and I think it could be great. Thoughts?"

 

Well, judging by our conversation last night, she's not at a place to REALLY date just yet. She's just doing some casual dating right now. And while I think "light" is probably a more optimal approach, I feel like I do need to address it in a way where it doesn't seem like I'm just another hoverer that's been waiting to score a shot. If I just ask for a date point blank, that raises too many questions for our friendship, I think. That might be something to go for if I want to wait another 3-6 months to try it, but for right now? I dunno.

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Well, judging by our conversation last night, she's not at a place to REALLY date just yet. She's just doing some casual dating right now. And while I think "light" is probably a more optimal approach, I feel like I do need to address it in a way where it doesn't seem like I'm just another hoverer that's been waiting to score a shot. If I just ask for a date point blank, that raises too many questions for our friendship, I think. That might be something to go for if I want to wait another 3-6 months to try it, but for right now? I dunno.

 

If you trust that you have a good friendship, then she's not going to think you're "another hoverer." Doesn't mean she'll share your interest—which, hey, if you actually think of her as a friend (i.e. human being first) should be, all in all, all good, something you can respect with grace. Stewing as you are for another 3-6 months, on the other hand? That kind of turns you into another hoverer, since you're withholding a truth (not something friends do) until you believe she's primed to fulfill your fantasy (something hoverers do).

 

Mind you, I'm writing this as someone who is emotionally incapable of nursing feelings for other people in the vacuum of my mind for very long. You, on the other hand, seem more than capable of doing that, to the point where I think it's a source of comfort, if of a jagged variety, and that your greatest fear here may not be rejection or nosediving the friendship so much as losing that source of jagged comfort, that dizzying state of yearning that will go away even if this did pivot to romance.

 

Guess I'm just saying that, if you guys are good friends, you can bounce back. Have some faith in that, since that's what friendship is. Might take a second, but whatever. It's like dancing with someone, which all relationships, platonic and romantic, are in a sense. Every now and then a toe is stepped on, rhythm gets lost. Then it gets found again, and the dance continues.

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Okay, well, today was pretty rough earlier and this afternoon, because of how bummed and deflated I felt, but my second day with her helped me to realign myself a little. I could have had the conversation, and in fact, I almost blurted it out at one point, but at the end of the day, I realized that it's just not the right time.

 

Her ex is still a fairly frequent topic of conversation, and even though she's glad he's out of the picture, she's still got a lot to vent about. And the breakup is still so recent. So, it just doesn't feel "right" to try to jump at something right now. I can just tell she's not there yet, even if she is trying to casually date right now.

 

I think perhaps once the ex is no longer coming up in conversation, that will be a better time to start thinking about trying a more direct approach. And yeah, that'll probably be a while yet. But, I'm trying to "cool down" a little. I don't think my hope will go away any time soon, if ever, but the realization that it's just not the right time is helpful.

 

While I'm not trying to be "manipulative", I still hope that something could develop naturally. Like, I tried hard to make an effort with her family today, and she actually acknowledged that to me in private after the fact. And later, she vented about how the ex disliked her family. So, I dunno. Little things like that make me hope that maybe she'll eventually start realizing that I might be a solid option. In this case, maybe her family will even kinda plant the idea in her head if they like me enough.

 

While I don't want to get wrapped up overanalyzing little things, one little exchange from yesterday that she showed me a string of texts her friend sent her, and one of the messages was "Oh crap I'm not writing while you're on a date, am I?", and because I had bought her some food on the way, I jokingly pointed that out and said "Well, technically, I did buy you dinner, so it's sort of like a date, right?", and she laughed and said "That's true" then sarcastically said "A date at my house". Not that yesterday was a "date", of course, given all her talk about the ex and her attempts at dating. Still, the joke didn't seem to make her uncomfortable, so...?

 

I dunno. I'm still worried about whether there will ever be a proper way to approach it without giving her the wrong impression, but for now, I'm okay with the realization that it's just not the right time.

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Also, just to put things into perspective, a little, as per how attached I am to her...

 

This weekend, she and I spent eight hours each two days in a row together (so 16 hours total). A few of those hours were with her family, as well, but mostly, it was me and her, chatting and goofing off, and it just flew by. I don't think I've ever even met a girl I'd care to spend a couple hours with on a date for an evening, let alone a girl I'd spend 16 hours with over two days. It's hard not to feel attached, with stuff like that. I dunno.

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This probably isn't what you want to hear - indulging in all that time spent together doesn't give her a chance to miss you. For your own sake, dial it back a little.

 

Yeah, I mean, it's not like this will necessarily be super frequent. Prior to this, she and I hadn't seen each other in about five weeks, which was before the breakup (and honestly, for the last year or so, I'd been spending more time with him than her). I also won't see her again for at least another 2-3 weeks, due to some plans she has. So, it's not a totally frequent thing.

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Yes, but not seeing her isn't the same as giving her space to allow her to miss you. It's about not seeing her AND not messaging.

 

It doesn't mean you're upset with her or want to give her that impression, it's about letting her wonder where you are, giving her time to maybe see what life would be like without you, and in doing so, might give her an appreciation and different perspective she's not had before.

 

They do say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all.

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Yes, but not seeing her isn't the same as giving her space to allow her to miss you. It's about not seeing her AND not messaging.

 

It doesn't mean you're upset with her or want to give her that impression, it's about letting her wonder where you are, giving her time to maybe see what life would be like without you, and in doing so, might give her an appreciation and different perspective she's not had before.

 

They do say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all.

 

In general, I try to only reach out via message a couple times a week, and we haven't gotten a pattern of hanging out down yet, because we just started hanging out again this weekend, and her plans will keep her busy for the next 2-3 weeks. I'm not really sure what an okay amount of contact is. Plus, I mean, she's getting lots of attention from other dudes on her dating apps, so that would probably fill in the gap of me pulling back.

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