Jump to content

Can good friendship ever become more?


SonicHighway
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yeah, I didn't mean it to come off that way. I dunno. It's just so hard right now, and I just have these whirlwind of thoughts going on in my head, and I'm also in an emotional place with all this. But, that's why I'm trying to weed out all the "stupid" thoughts now.

 

I just don't know. I really don't know what to do, or not do. I don't know what's best for her, what's best for me, what's best for the friendship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 173
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Keeping her in my life at all costs is pretty accurate, I'd say. And yeah, that would mean having to reconcile everything I'll be giving up and putting aside to make sure the friendship can exist. While I'm not there yet, I'm hoping that maybe I can get to that point.

 

I don't mean to offend you but this is incredibly creepy and unattractive. You should have some boundaries and ideas about what you can and can't live with. What may likely happen in the end is she realizes how clingy you are and outgrows this friendship because you're stifling every aspect of her life. Both of you right now have a very odd codependent relationship where you're depending on each other quite a lot - her because she's dealing with a break up and you because you can't face your fears or tell her how you feel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel for you - I know that when I have been unsure of someone's feelings for me I overanalyze every conversation, every action, even facial expressions for anything that would give me a glimmer of hope that that person reciprocated my feelings. Unfortunately, that approach hasn't been successful - only by making my feelings known have I gotten an answer.

 

And I will also admit that I have tried to use the same tactics you referenced above, and I can assure you that in addition to never working, they also are obvious to the person(s) I have tried to use them on, and not only does it make me look clingy and insecure, it has devalued me and caused a loss of respect from the other person. Your judgement is clouded by emotions right now, so having these racing thoughts is normal. But positioning yourself as the "sacrificial lamb" that places her feelings above yours will backfire for you in the end.

 

Best of luck.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mean to offend you but this is incredibly creepy and unattractive. You should have some boundaries and ideas about what you can and can't live with. What may likely happen in the end is she realizes how clingy you are and outgrows this friendship because you're stifling every aspect of her life. Both of you right now have a very odd codependent relationship where you're depending on each other quite a lot - her because she's dealing with a break up and you because you can't face your fears or tell her how you feel.

 

There's more "distance" than it might seem like from what I write. I mean, we only chat via text once or twice a week, and up until this past weekend, we hadn't seen each other in over a month. It'll probably be at least 2-3 weeks before we see each other again. I imagine if/ when we get into a regular rotation, we'll probably only be hanging out once every 2-3 weeks or so after that.

 

I'm not trying to be "creepy". It's just... I've never been as close with someone as I have with her, and no one in my entire life has ever made me feel as valued and cared for as she has. Even friends have never been easy for me to come by in life. I've never had a true friend. Just acquaintances, and people who were generally indifferent to my existence.

 

So, the fact that she likes me, and cares about me, and actually thinks I'm someone worth having around, that's all so important to me, and I just don't want to go back to having no one again. That was so sad, and so miserable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, I didn't mean it to come off that way. I dunno. It's just so hard right now, and I just have these whirlwind of thoughts going on in my head, and I'm also in an emotional place with all this. But, that's why I'm trying to weed out all the "stupid" thoughts now.

 

I just don't know. I really don't know what to do, or not do. I don't know what's best for her, what's best for me, what's best for the friendship.

 

You do know. It is simple. Simple doesn't mean easy. You're injecting confusion and complexities into it to justify not doing the right thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the "right thing"?

 

I'll repeat. Do not try to be close friends with someone you have strong romantic feelings for and want to date when those feelings are not reciprocated. Casual acquaintances -sure but keep strict boundaries around that as well. And not yet -wait till you're both in committed relationships would be my suggestion. Your follow up posts suggest that part of this is because of your loneliness. Unfair to her -on top of everything else- not at all about her happiness as you insisted.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the "right thing"?

 

Well, in my opinion backing away for your own health and sanity OP is what I would think is the 'right' thing to do. It really would be worth looking into codependency sonic. It was interesting you referred in an earlier post to 'attachment' in relation to her. I think that is quite possibly at the heart and soul of all this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll repeat. Do not try to be close friends with someone you have strong romantic feelings for and want to date when those feelings are not reciprocated. Casual acquaintances -sure but keep strict boundaries around that as well. And not yet -wait till you're both in committed relationships would be my suggestion. Your follow up posts suggest that part of this is because of your loneliness. Unfair to her -on top of everything else- not at all about her happiness as you insisted.

 

I mean, I do very much care about her happiness, though. In any case, I didn't have the feelings for most of our friendship. It's only recently that they've come to a head. So I don't know how to adjust the friendship now, when we're already where we're at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I mean, I do very much care about her happiness, though. In any case, I didn't have the feelings for most of our friendship. It's only recently that they've come to a head. So I don't know how to adjust the friendship now, when we're already where we're at.

 

".....when we are all ready where we are at" seems like an attempt to manipulate yourself into thinking she is a co-conspirator in this when she is not. "Where she is at" is as a person going thru a breakup and is relying on friends to help her thru the breakup. Where you are at is trying to convince yourself that this is going to end the way you want it to if you just stick it out as her friend.

 

The overall advice (and smartest advice) has been to come clean to her, and if she doesn't feel the same way you have to make the heartbreaking but self-empowering decision to move on, as difficult as it may be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The overall advice (and smartest advice) has been to come clean to her, and if she doesn't feel the same way you have to make the heartbreaking but self-empowering decision to move on, as difficult as it may be.

 

Agreed.

 

Only thing I'd add? Wherever this all ends up going, I think you'd really benefit from seeing all these feelings as connected to forces that don't really have all that much to do with this woman. Feelings of loneliness, feelings of hopelessness, internal beliefs about yourself, and so on. Because until that stuff is seen as something in you that needs your care and attention, you will find ways to project it onto others, at the expense of sincere connection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I'm sort of "calming down" a little now. To be honest, I broke my "no texting her for a little while" rule, and we just chatted a little, and it was nice talking about stuff without her dating stuff. I know it's probably not "healthy", but talking to her kinda helps to calm me down and relax my nerves.

 

Like I said, it'll be 2-3 weeks at least before I see her again. I don't expect to get over her in that time, but I think the "distance" will help a little. I'm sure I'll kinda ramp up again when I hear more about her dating life, but for now, I think I'm cooling off on how intense I've been feeling.

 

For now, I think I'm going to see how cooled off I can stay, and just kind of play things by ear with her. I don't want to do anything rash or impulsive, and I don't want to put a bunch of stuff on her when she's still adjusting after the breakup. So, hopefully I can stay cooled off and let things just be for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you plan to spend these 2-3 weeks? Specifically, what will you do, for you, to strengthen your mental and emotional equilibrium? What are three things that make you feel very grateful to be alive, things that have nothing to do with her but that you can turn to for inspiration? What is something you've been meaning to do, or curious to try, but keep putting off?

 

I ask these questions because the way you framed things above? It's like you're already setting yourself up to be exactly where you are, right now. If that is what you want at this point in your life—a tortuous limbo of sorts—you are free to keep cultivating it, and savoring it. But if you want something else, even if you're not sure what that something is, you have to step in a new direction, even if it's just a few inches.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you plan to spend these 2-3 weeks? Specifically, what will you do, for you, to strengthen your mental and emotional equilibrium? What are three things that make you feel very grateful to be alive, things that have nothing to do with her but that you can turn to for inspiration? What is something you've been meaning to do, or curious to try, but keep putting off?

 

I ask these questions because the way you framed things above? It's like you're already setting yourself up to be exactly where you are, right now. If that is what you want at this point in your life—a tortuous limbo of sorts—you are free to keep cultivating it, and savoring it. But if you want something else, even if you're not sure what that something is, you have to step in a new direction, even if it's just a few inches.

 

To be honest, I really don't know. Actually, my friends break up has some notable ripple effects for my own social life and hobbies, because for the last several months, I'd really been investing myself in hobbies I was doing mostly with her ex, and now that he's out of the picture, I don't have someone to do that stuff with anymore. So, I've spent the last several weeks just not knowing what to do with myself. I still don't know what to do with myself, really.

 

I'm tired of sitting around being trapped within my own head, but I just don't have anything to go out and do, or places to go, or anything. I'd love to find stuff to fill my time this weekend, but I got nothing.

 

I'm certainly feeling very... Aimless, and directionless, and confused about life in general, right now. It's not a fun feeling, and it certainly doesn't help all the thoughts that are stewing around in my head.

 

On a different note, it was mentioned that I should examine my issues separately from how they tie into my friend. And the point I'd like to get across is that I don't mean to "put all of my eggs in one basket", or obsess over someone.

 

But you have to understand, I've gone through life with very, very few connections to anyone. And it hasn't been for a lack of trying on my part, I don't think. But most everyone I've met has been indifferent/ apathetic to me in varying degrees. And I mean that both platonically and romantically.

 

I've tried to connect with people, and I still continue to try on the much more infrequent opportunities I have now, but I just don't get the sense that I'm what anyone is looking for, per se. I've never really felt "accepted" or valued, or like I matter in any way to anyone. And it's not that I'm looking for anyone to "validate" me. I mean, I don't feel like I have a poor opinion of myself. I think I'm a pretty solid person.

 

But even putting aside validation, I think we all want to feel "wanted" by someone, want to feel important to someone. And when you can't ever find that, it really hurts, to be honest.

 

So, you wonder why I'm so personally invested in this one girl, and it's because she's the only person who's ever made me feel like I do, in fact, "matter". Like I am important, like I am worth having around. No one else cares. And that's whatever. But for the first and only time in my life, I have someone that's actually excited to see me and talk to me, that genuinely enjoys my company, that actively wants me around in their life, that sees me as someone that's worth having as a part of their life. That means a lot to me.

 

And because it's been so infrequent and impossible to find, it's very difficult to just write it off, or let it go. And that's also why it feels like such a heartbreak to know that we can't necessarily be more than friends, because how often am I going to find a girl that likes me even as much as she does? I'm in my early 30s, and she's the only one I've found so far. It's just... very difficult to separate myself from that. You know?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can change that rather than blaming her for all your problems. This all has nothing to do with her. It has to do with going to a doctor for a complete evaluation for moods, anxiety, withdrawal, ruminating , obsessive thoughts, etc. It also has to do with getting supportive therapy.

 

It also has to do with joining some clubs, groups, sports, volunteering taking some classes, enjoying your work etc. This woman is not responsible for your mental health or social life. You are.

I'm tired of sitting around being trapped within my own head, but I just don't have anything to go out and do, or places to go, or anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can change that rather than blaming her for all your problems. This all has nothing to do with her. It has to do with going to a doctor for a complete evaluation for moods, anxiety, withdrawal, ruminating , obsessive thoughts, etc. It also has to do with getting supportive therapy.

 

It also has to do with joining some clubs, groups, sports, volunteering taking some classes, enjoying your work etc. This woman is not responsible for your mental health or social life. You are.

 

I still don't like that term. "Blaming her". I'm not "blaming her".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What exactly do you do to "try to connect with people?" Those are very popular terms these days -"connect" - but "try?" and what does connection look like to you?

 

Here are some of the things I do - none of them might be relevant to you -just examples:

 

I send an email to a friend asking how her move went.

I buy my husband the juice he likes (that I don't)

I have been doing volunteer work since around 1981 and most of it involves one to one interaction with people at least part of it- over the years I've had good, fun, and also deep conversations with fellow volunteers plus made lasting friendships.

I chat with one of my coworkers privately on Facebook - but only about what we're reading -we both love reading and talking about what we're reading.

Book clubs. I've made lasting friendships that way.

I chat with my neighbors through our masks in the package room - I listen and I ask good follow up questions (which is what another coworker who I'm friendly with told me I'm good at and that's one reason she enjoys our pre-covid monthly lunches)

I share inside jokes with my husband almost daily. Some of them we started in the mid 1990s and all we have to do is say one word of it and we get it.

I participate on a daily Facebook thread about what we're grateful for - big or small - I've then become friendly with people through private messages because of it.

 

How about you? I suggest you get really specific and don't rely on those broad "try to connect" kind of thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sonic,

 

I skimmed though some of this, so forgive me if I missed an important detail.

 

You are a remarkably mature and insightful person. You have handled a tough, confusing, and heart wrenching situation well. You are doing the right thing in putting her happiness first and I can tell that you really do love her. Even if you hurt from this, you are still willing to see it through to the end and are willing to accept what happens. You want her to be okay, even if it's not with you. I think that makes you the kind of man that any woman would be lucky to be with. I've done the same. What some won't understand is when you find that person that you care for, that you just know is right for you, you can't just move on. You have to ride out those feeling, wherever it takes you. I've been criticized for that in the past. But love is something you have to feel your way though. And i respect you for how you are approaching this.

 

Unless I missed something, I don't think she ever turned you down. If anything, she respects you more then most guys since you aren't trying to "get in her pants" and "be one and done." Don't joke about it or play games to see how she feels. Just be honest with her. Tell her that you respect her and value your friendship. Tell her that you love your time together and want to see if there could be something more there. Tell her what you've told all of us, that you just want her to be happy and would never hurt her. But you need to get these feeling out there. The only way to resolve things is to let it all go. Life has given you a chance at something awesome. It's time to just take a chance. I did once and it didn't work out. I did a second time, and it lead to the greatest moments of my life. Either way, you won't know unless you try. And I agree, you have a great friendship that will survive even if it's not romantic.

 

I also know what it's like to be the introvert and loner. Women always love me ... in a platonic way. But getting to something deeper doesn't seem in the cards. I know that it can get down thinking of others in relationships and being so happy. But what they do doesn't matter. They have plenty of issues as well, relationship and otherwise. What matters is that you stay true to who you are and be the kind of person you want to be. You sound like a good person, so be proud of that. Do what makes you happy. And eventually, be it this girl or someone else, someone will see just how bright of a light is shining in you and will be drawn to that. You'll have everything you've ever dreamed of and more. Just be patient and try not to overthink it my friend. You're on the right path, just have to persevere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are a remarkably mature and insightful person. You have handled a tough, confusing, and heart wrenching situation well. You are doing the right thing in putting her happiness first and I can tell that you really do love her. Even if you hurt from this, you are still willing to see it through to the end and are willing to accept what happens. You want her to be okay, even if it's not with you. I think that makes you the kind of man that any woman would be lucky to be with. I've done the same. What some won't understand is when you find that person that you care for, that you just know is right for you, you can't just move on. You have to ride out those feeling, wherever it takes you. I've been criticized for that in the past. But love is something you have to feel your way though. And i respect you for how you are approaching this.

 

Heh, well, I'm trying my hardest to suppress my feelings, and I wouldn't go as far to say I "love" someone I've never dated. Granted, I certainly would say that I "love" her as a friend, and that's part of the struggle, because that "love" wants to be something more.

 

Unless I missed something, I don't think she ever turned you down.

 

Technically, no. In the 5-6 weeks since she's been single, we've only hung out for one weekend, and it just doesn't seem appropriate to jump at her right now. So, other than making a couple dumb jokes, I haven't actually pursued anything. Still, I know that women typically don't vent about their ex or tell you all about how they're chatting with guys on dating apps, if they'd be open to dating you.

 

But you need to get these feeling out there. The only way to resolve things is to let it all go. Life has given you a chance at something awesome. It's time to just take a chance. I did once and it didn't work out. I did a second time, and it lead to the greatest moments of my life. Either way, you won't know unless you try. And I agree, you have a great friendship that will survive even if it's not romantic.

 

Yeah, I mean, the hardest part right now is trying to suppress and fight off the feelings. I'm trying really hard, but they're fighting back super hard. That's where most of my stress and unrest is coming from, this suppression and this fighting.

 

I do want to believe that we could have a discussion and still be okay with each other after the fact. But... What if I'm wrong? What if I wouldn't know how to appropriately have that discussion? What if, no matter what I say or how I say it, she just won't be able to wrap her head around me feeling something for her?

 

At this point, I don't even know the appropriate time. I wouldn't want her to feel like I've been eagerly awaiting an opportunity, but I know she's trying to casually date to get back out there. She also just had another unfortunate occurrence happen to her yesterday that she's going to be sad about for a little while. With everything she's been through in the last month, I feel like me putting her in a position where she'd have to reject her good friend and possibly figure out if she needs to drop me from her life altogether would probably hurt her even more.

 

I dunno. I just don't want to lose her. Something else that's crept into my mind is, what are the odds I'll be good friends with her next boyfriend? I think we were all pretty lucky that me and her ex got along and had things in common and could be friends. But I'm not so sure that's likely to happen again. Not just because I have feelings. But what if he and I don't have much in common? What if he doesn't like me? What it we don't really get along all that well? What if he doesn't like me talking to her and hanging out with her so much?

 

I mean, she's explicitly told me that she wants me in her life long term, and I don't think she'd so easily drop me just because some guy tells her to. But I don't think any of this stuff has even occurred to her yet, because she's so used to me getting along with her ex. So, I'm scared, too, because it just doesn't seem super likely to me that her next boyfriend will be all that receptive to me. And I don't know what happens then.

 

You sound like a good person, so be proud of that. Do what makes you happy. And eventually, be it this girl or someone else, someone will see just how bright of a light is shining in you and will be drawn to that. You'll have everything you've ever dreamed of and more. Just be patient and try not to overthink it my friend. You're on the right path, just have to persevere.

 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

So, we hung out again, and I still get pretty platonic vibes, and she still talked a bit about guys she's chatting with and going on dates with. The thing is... Hearing more about some other friendships she currently has with other guys, I'm starting to think that *maybe* I could talk to her and we could still be okay.

 

Like, she has this other guy friend that she said has told her he had a crush on her multiple times, usually while drunk. And she's friendly with him, though she seems to see him as a "maybe". Like, she'll keep hanging out with him if he pursues it, but she's not gung-ho about him to want it to happen.

 

So... Maybe she's not really that phased by guy friends having crushes and stuff on her, and maybe we could chat about it and it could still be okay after. But, she did also basically imply that I'm one of the two closest people in her life that she knows she can always count on to be there for her. So, maybe being that close would make things more difficult to talk about...

 

I really don't know. I feel like maybe I really should try to talk about it next time we hang out, because I just have this feeling that the window of opportunity is starting to close.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately this sounds like the male-girlfriend zone. Harder to get out of than the friendzone. Guard your heart.

she has this other guy friend that she said has told her he had a crush on her multiple times, usually while drunk. And she's friendly with him, though she seems to see him as a "maybe". Like, she'll keep hanging out with him if he pursues it, but she's not gung-ho about him to want it to happen.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately this sounds like the male-girlfriend zone. Harder to get out of than the friendzone. Guard your heart.

 

Do you mean what that other guy is in? Since that's the part you quoted? I guess. I mean, she seems open to going on dates with him if he pursues it, but he flip flops on her and sends her mixed signals, and she's not overly concerned about whether they actually date or just hang out as friends.

 

So, I just mean, if she's at least open to dating him, but will still be friends with him, then perhaps I could talk to her, and see if she'd be open to me? I don't know. Just thinking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She's sharing all these details because she sees you as a friend with no potential for more. I also think she likes that these guys have crushes on her and to me it sounds like she's bragging about it to you.

 

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...