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Can good friendship ever become more?


SonicHighway
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I'm not really sure what an okay amount of contact is.

 

My read on this is - whatever amount you think is acceptable for you given the circumstances should be okay. A good friend won't knock you just because you need a time out or a break. What I can't seem to agree with is the sense of complete helplessness coming from you. You do have choices and a say in how much time you spend with this person or what you think is good or healthy for you.

 

I didn't think she was a good option from the start given your history so that's where my first post comes from. Now one to two months later after her break up, you're finding out she's starting to go on dates with new men and you're feeling so much self-doubt and anxiety over it. This person is trying to regain some normalcy in her life but she's also looking for the dating world and (surface-level) validation from outsiders to help make her feel good about herself. You described her as being above average with her looks and being appreciated by the opposite sex. She's not dating to find love again this close to a break up. She's dating to seek validation after hitting an all time low after her break up. As soon as you realize what her intentions are or open up your eyes to the reality of this person (after you've put her on a pedestal), you'll start to see that what she really needs right now is a friend, not a partner.

 

I think you've already sensed all this in your previous meeting anyway when you didn't feel it was appropriate to bring up your feelings or ask her out on a proper date. If you want to be taken seriously, dial it back, create some distance between the both of you, don't seek to control her by getting anxious about who she's hanging out with or thinking about dates she's going on. She won't respect a friend who's trying to get with her or someone who needs validation himself because he's feeling so low about everything. Use other means to bring up your self-confidence whether it's being around other friends more often, thinking less about her in general or creating a whole new world without her in it - join clubs or associations that are entirely separate from this friendship. There's too much involvement in each others' lives and it's not healthy overall for any kind of friendship especially if you have romantic feelings for her.

 

If she does have romantic feelings towards you and is waiting for you to make the first move because she's insecure, scared, not fully formed or just altogether gender-biased, that's on her - not you. Don't take on all that pressure and burden. Ultimately try looking for women who are a bit more confident too and less likely to dump their issues or problems on you or expect you to be their knight in shining armour. She has to deal with her break up and whatever lows she's feeling from it. You need a respectful distance to resume other areas of your life without being too stuck in this rut.

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Yeah, it's just hard all around. It's like... I know I probably don't have a shot, but I can't make the feelings subside. And I don't want to torture myself forever by having feelings for her and letting it negatively affect my own life, but I also don't want to lose her as a friend.

 

I understand where she's at right now, and I'm not going to push anything. I want to be there for her, but the more I'm there for her, the more I long for her, as well. I should probably pull back some, but I also don't want her to feel like I'm just pulling away when she might still kinda need me.

 

It's all very contradictory and conflicting. And that's why I'm struggling so much. I want two very different things, but I know I can't have both. And I just cannot fully commit to one or the other.

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The idea of loss seems to be very deep and pervasive in your dilemma. Is it possible for you to perceive loss as a healthy aspect of life?

 

I'm wondering if loss in other areas or others in your life has affected the way you perceive loss. There's so much fear here. Like you I felt the same thing when my life was falling apart - there's no other way to describe it other than terror and paralysis. I'm not quite sure how I made it over to the other side or did what I did but your survival instincts have to kick in eventually. The whole perception of loss is terrifying. I think if I look back now I think of things differently and what caused so much pain back then can be transformed into something else a lot more rewarding and positive. In the same way, this idea of loss that you have (loss of friendship in this case) can also be interpreted as transformation and renewal. If your friendship ends, there's room to explore more in life.

 

You have to be willing to trust in that though or even if it's reaching out in the dark instinctively for some form of existence that's a little bit better than what you're living, I think that's still worth reaching towards instead of remaining in the darkness.

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Yeah, I suppose. I just don't know. I can't bring myself to end things with her, she means so much to me, she's the only person that's ever been there for me in any way.

 

But I also can't live a life always feeling something for her.

 

I don't know. I just really cannot make that decision. I know I "have" to, but I can't.

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So, I'm still trying to figure things out. I felt like I had a decent handle on my feelings before we hung out, because I thought I had a little time to see if something could kindle over the next few months. But knowing she's out there dating, it's kicked my feelings into overdrive, and I have so much anxiety right now. Like, I'm legit having trouble sleeping, and I just permanently feel sick to my stomach.

 

I won't see her for another 2-3 weeks, so hopefully I'll cool down a bit by then. But I know as soon as I start hearing about her dating life again, it's all going to ramp back up again.

 

The thing is, I know she's just looking for distractions right now, and while she'll probably hook up with some guys and maybe have short runs with them, I don't know if she'll find her next real guy on a dating app. So, part of me wonders if I should try to weather the storm for the next 3-6 months, try to stay the course with kindling something in the background, or if I should just put my cards on the table next time I see her.

 

I would certainly like to discuss things with her sooner rather than later and figure out what it means for us, so I can avoid more anxiety. But because she's not really "ready", I'm worried that *if* there's a chance she'd consider me, that I'll be blowing that chance by bringing it up right away now.

 

I dunno. Either way, I'm not ready to lose her as a friend, but what other option she and I could come to, here.

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On the flip side... I'm starting to think that perhaps it may very well be for the best if I just try to bury my feelings as much as I can and do my best to continue with things as they are.

 

Maybe it's okay if that means I can't ever truly "love" someone else, maybe it's okay if that means I can't build a life with a partner of my own, maybe it's okay if I give up everything else to keep the best friend I've ever had. Honestly, I think she may be worth it.

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Maybe it's okay if that means I can't ever truly "love" someone else, maybe it's okay if that means I can't build a life with a partner of my own, maybe it's okay if I give up everything else to keep the best friend I've ever had. Honestly, I think she may be worth it.

 

 

This really isn't a healthy line of thought.

You've had some great responses in this thread. I think it would be worth having a re read of this thread at all the great feedback you've had.

 

I also would fully recommend getting some professional help and support.

 

Best wishes in your journey

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Just going to echo Dalesboy here.

 

Sonic? You are being a bit melodramatic. If you want to define what you're feeling now as the high watermark of this thing we call love—meaning a set of feelings untested, unshared, unexplored, built exclusively in your own mind rather than co-fertilized with a willing partner—no one can stop you. But for your own peace and harmony I do hope you can come to see the severe limitations of this mindset, to allow in some space to consider that something unhealthy is happening right now, an ever-tightening loop in which certain feelings (anxiety, negativity, hopelessness, low self-worth) are being labeled and celebrated as love for another person.

 

Sitting here on the outside, it really seems as if you're more interested in preserving this self-defeated state of high anxiety than doing something to move past it, as you seem most smitten less by her, and whatever makes her her, than by the sense that she could be the thing that could save you, or destroy you. So long as she exists in those two poles in your mind, you are minimizing both her own humanity and yours.

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She always was, still is and always will be a friend. This is fine for her and agreeable to you. There was a fleeting "crush" when she started talking about her breakup, but that never changed her mind or your dynamic.

 

Much of this is your demons arguing with each other about not really wanting a GF but having fleeting crushes on friends.

I'm starting to think that perhaps it may very well be for the best if I just try to bury my feelings as much as I can and do my best to continue with things as they are.
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So she can potentially date, meet someone, get married, have a family while you...sit and pine over her for the next 50 years? And you think it would be "worth it"?

 

Why give yourself a life sentence? You don't have to do this, you know.

 

She's my best friend, I can't afford to lose her regardless of what I have to give up. I just can't.

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I know I don't "have" to give up anything. But I don't know that these feelings will ever go away, especially when I start seeing and hearing more about her own dating endeavors. I can't see how I could ever have my own partner when, deep down, I have eyes for someone else.

 

Besides, it's unlikely I'll be able to find someone any time soon, unfortunately. It'll probably be years before I can meet someone I'd like to date. She'll probably be in a relationship in a matter of months.

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She's my best friend, I can't afford to lose her regardless of what I have to give up. I just can't.

 

Is she asking you to remain single and lonely forever in order to keep her friendship?

 

Or is that a restriction you are choosing to place on yourself?

 

It sounds romantic and dramatic, but it has no place in reality. Unless you think it's romantic for some reason.

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I know I don't "have" to give up anything. But I don't know that these feelings will ever go away, especially when I start seeing and hearing more about her own dating endeavors. I can't see how I could ever have my own partner when, deep down, I have eyes for someone else.

 

Besides, it's unlikely I'll be able to find someone any time soon, unfortunately. It'll probably be years before I can meet someone I'd like to date. She'll probably be in a relationship in a matter of months.

 

It will be only if you decide it will be.

 

You're writing this dramatic story with you as the main character. I can only presume you find it compelling for some reason.

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Eh. This situation has just gotten me in a bad place emotionally, is all. It's so hard, because I've never been able to date at all, I've never found even one woman throughout my life that I could develop something romantic with, and at the point I'm at in life now, it feels like there just aren't any real opportunities for me to do so in the future.

 

It just feels like I missed this boat, and meanwhile, everyone else around me is doing just fine, finding love and romance and sex, and I'm still alone as ever, and I can't see any signs of hope for myself.

 

I'm sorry. I don't mean to be "dramatic". I'm just struggling right now, and it's making my thoughts seem even more melodramatic. But, I feel like the message is still accurate.

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Choosing to keep yourself in this "situation" isn't going to make you feel better.

 

You are choosing this life sentence for yourself.

 

You could instead choose better and do what it takes to step away and pull yourself out of this funk.

 

Will you? Or do you choose the self imposed life sentence?

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You need to see that there are more options than this girl. Why not go onto a dating site and ask at least one girl out and see how it goes?

You've got nothing to lose and if you go out and it's not for you, then at least you tried.

 

On the other hand, maybe you will meet someone that you actually like and you won't sit there alone suffering it out and listening to your friends dating stories.

And who knows, maybe she'll look at you differently if you are starting to get attention from other girls.

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Can I ask a bit about your dating history? You're 32, still quite young, just getting started in the business of being an adult if you think about it logically. Have you ever dated, been in a relationship? Serious, casual, something lasting a night or three? No worries if you don't want to get personal, I'm just trying to understand the mindset here.

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It would be better to go to a doctor for a complete evaluation of your moods and get a referral to a therapist for ongoing support. You need to stop blaming this woman for all your unrequited love issues.

I've never been able to date at all, I've never found even one woman throughout my life that I could develop something romantic with, and at the point I'm at in life now, it feels like there just aren't any real opportunities for me to do so in the future.
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Choosing to keep yourself in this "situation" isn't going to make you feel better.

 

You are choosing this life sentence for yourself.

 

You could instead choose better and do what it takes to step away and pull yourself out of this funk.

 

Will you? Or do you choose the self imposed life sentence?

 

I want to move on, I just don't know how. It's hard not having those feelings, especially when I don't intend to stop being friends with her. It's never going to be easy to know she's with someone else.

 

You need to see that there are more options than this girl. Why not go onto a dating site and ask at least one girl out and see how it goes?

You've got nothing to lose and if you go out and it's not for you, then at least you tried.

 

On the other hand, maybe you will meet someone that you actually like and you won't sit there alone suffering it out and listening to your friends dating stories.

And who knows, maybe she'll look at you differently if you are starting to get attention from other girls.

 

I've been trying dating apps for years, and am currently trying them again as I try to get my mind off of her. Unfortunately, the same thing always happens. I get very few matches, and the ones I do get don't respond to my messages. Or they respond once or twice, but then never again. I'd love to "mingle" with women more, as that would probably help me move on, but I just can't get any women to mingle.

 

Can I ask a bit about your dating history? You're 32, still quite young, just getting started in the business of being an adult if you think about it logically. Have you ever dated, been in a relationship? Serious, casual, something lasting a night or three? No worries if you don't want to get personal, I'm just trying to understand the mindset here.

 

Never dated, never been in a relationship, never done anything. I was always a bit of a "loner", and a very reserved introvert. I've never had an issue having mutually platonic relationships with women I've known, but I've just never found anything more than that.

 

It would be better to go to a doctor for a complete evaluation of your moods and get a referral to a therapist for ongoing support. You need to stop blaming this woman for all your unrequited love issues.

 

Trust me, I do not "blame" her for anything. I would never. She's never done anything to me, she's not hurt me, personally. I could never hold anything against her.

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