Falling “In Love” With My Friend

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  • Anonymous
    November 13, 2023 at 12:26 am #1126606

    I’ve known this girl for a few years now. We met as roommates in college and for the better part of the first year, all I saw her was as a friend. However, I began to fall for her because unlike most other people I had feelings for, she was the only person that I felt a sense of calm around and that I didn’t have to prove my worth to. I confessed my feelings to her a year and a half or so ago and she denied me. I was broken by it, but I respected it and went on a self-healing process. I focused on myself, let myself have some space from her and for the most part, got over it. However, recently, we began to hang out more again after I moved to the city she was living in for work and to say that the feelings stormed back like lightning would be an understatement. I feel somewhat pathetic that I can’t seem to control my emotions right now and don’t know what to do anymore. She deserves a friend out of me, but I don’t know if I can relive what I went through the last time. Should I be bold and try again or back out now before it spirals?

    November 13, 2023 at 10:43 am #1126608

    Unless you’ve been given some kind of indication that your friend’s feelings have changed, I don’t think it’s a good idea to say anything. Effectively at this point, your friend knows that at least at one point you had feelings for her. That basically puts the ball in her court.

    I hate saying the common refrain of “therapy is a good idea” but here we go: This statement is kind of concerning to me.

    “However, I began to fall for her because unlike most other people I had feelings for, she was the only person that I felt a sense of calm around and that I didn’t have to prove my worth to.”

    Why is this? What was it she did that is different from other friends and love interests? Why are you going through life under such pressure? It’s not healthy to pin your entire sense of calm to a single person. Finding more people who you don’t feel judged by will be important going forward.

    A good therapist could help you unpack this and hopefully take the edge of some of the feelings of rejection. But in the meantime, attempting any kind of romantic relationship with this woman is probably a dead end.

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    November 13, 2023 at 10:54 am #1126609

    I agree that you’re unlikely to have a better outcome this time. I think you should put some distance between the two of you.

    November 13, 2023 at 11:24 am #1126611

    I also found that statement a bit alarming. Do you think that you’ve confused a deep platonic friendship with romantic love? It happens. Where people who have trouble connecting with other people, or have healthy relationships elsewhere in their lives conflate romantic and platonic love.

    I mean, if you want to bonk her brains out – then yah, that’s a good sign you’re looking for romantic love and I’d advise you not get back on the treadmill. If you just envision spending time together (not in bed) then you may want to work with a therapist to unpack that and move that back to the friend side, although to be honest, it still may be best to keep your distance if you don’t think you can be the friend she needs you to be.

    November 13, 2023 at 11:49 am #1126612

    I should probably clarify more about what I meant by “sense of calm”. I get the same feeling of calm with my family and close friends. Its just when I look at people romantically or new people in general, I usually get nervous because I worry if I’m not up to their standards. Being introverted, I get hung up a lot on what I should say and who I want to meet. With her, I didn’t feel like I had to do any of that and it felt the most natural. Am I mixing a deep platonic friendship for something more? I hope not, but the last opinion I really want on my relationship with her is my own because I am going to be bias about it.

    November 13, 2023 at 7:29 pm #1126627

    If you want to shoot your shot again, knowing that if her feelings had changed she probably would tell you, right?- go ahead but I don’t think it’s likely her feelings have changed at all. She’s probably thinking, “Brian gets it, I told him I don’t like him, and he understands, he’s a safe male friend.”
    Your admission will ruin your friendship with her, which may be inevitable anyway. I don’t know if it’s worse to have your platonic friend try to hit you up again after you’ve turned them down, or to pretend to be her friend when you really want a relationship and sex.

    You should probably cut this friendship loose.

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    November 14, 2023 at 10:26 am #1126646

    IDK that I think it’s problematic that you feel calm around this woman — the advice for people with an anxious attachment style, for instance, is to focus on the people who make you feel calm and at peace — but I do think it’s unusual that you are nervous around new people in general and feel you won’t live up to their standards. Not sure if it’s deep insecurity, social anxiety, or what, but I’m sure a therapist can help you figure that out and how it impacts your dating life.

    I don’t necessarily feel naturally at ease with most people I meet — I’m not nervous, I’m not concerned about their expectations — so I did pay attention to whether or not I felt that in dating.

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Falling “In Love” With My Friend

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