Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

How can I view a friend as just a friend and nothing more?

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice How can I view a friend as just a friend and nothing more?

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  • #854644 Reply
    avatarHitch
    Guest

    Let me set some foundations, I have an online friend who I’ve been friends with for half a year or so. I love talking to him and we have lots of funny conversations. Here is where the issue comes in, no matter how much I try not to, I can’t help having feelings for him, but the thing is I want to be there for him as a friend too. I feel I would be losing a great friend if I were to distance myself. We’ve talked about meeting in real life in the future. But it’s hard because he has a longterm girlfriend of five years and theyre the happiest couple together. I’m not saying that because their instagrams are cool or whatever, but they deeply care for eachother and they matter so much to eachother. And I love that because its great to see him and her so happy but I need help just viewing him as a friend. To be clear, he sees me exclusively as a friend.

    #854656 Reply
    avatarron
    Guest

    This is a less than in-person friendship with a guy you know is unavailable for a romantic relationship, because he is already happy in his long-term relationship and you know that you are only a friend to him. I think your mind is going in this direction because you are lonely and longing for a romantic relationship of your own. Enjoy what seems to be a harmless on-line friendship. Perhaps consider what appeals to you about him and seek that in real life.

    #854657 Reply
    avatarcdobbs
    Guest

    in your life you are going to meet countless people you will be attracted to that for one reason or another you will not be able to establish a romantic relationship with….it will be hard you just have to tell yourself that in time someone else will come along to fill that need….but in the meantime you can be friends with the unavailable people

    #854682 Reply
    avatarEssie
    Participant

    It’s really, really hard to do just-friends when you have romantic feelings for someone. You’re asking us how to flip a switch and turn those feelings off, and there’s no way to do that. In time, the feelings will fade, but it takes a *lot* longer when you’re still in contact with the guy.

    In the meantime, all you have to look forward to is hurting every time he mentions his girlfriend, hurting every time you see a cute picture of them together, hearing about their vacations, hearing about his proposal, seeing photos from their wedding, of their kids…see what I mean? Sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it?

    You have very little time invested in this friendship, and you have to decide whether it’s going to hurt too much to continue it, feeling as you do. If you still want to try, make sure you fill your time with IRL friends and activities, so you’re not sitting around and thinking about him all the time.

    #854704 Reply

    I would not try to maintain a online friendship with this guy. As Essie said, it is really hard to listen to someone talk about their partner if you have romantic feelings for them. And this is a pretty new friendship, an online one. You lose almost nothing by walking away right now. If this were an IRL friendship it would almost be the same advice. Walk away. It will be too painful for you. And all the time you spend being his friend, wishing things were different, etc you’re not investing time trying to meet someone who is interested in you and available.

    #854705 Reply
    CopaCopa
    Participant

    I think it’s time to redirect yourself! When people find themselves having feelings for people they’ve never even met before, I assume it’s because they’re pretty lonely. Now would be a good time to start putting more time and energy into your IRL relationships. If you’re in school, join a club or get involved in an extracurricular activity. If you’re an adult, go to a MeetUp event or set up an online dating profile. Make an effort to befriend the people around you, those who you can spend quality time with in person. Maintaining this online-only “friendship” is not going to help you move on.

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