Monday, September 24, 2012

Do I just stop?

The comment:
We had a lot of serious convos and had fun too, but every time we hangout like this I always end up wondering if I should have even gone in the first place. It's not that I don't care about him or like being around him, because obviously I do but if it's also making it harder, do I just stop? I don't want to be the one to say anything first but I also don't want to keep waiting. Do I try distancing myself from him and if so how? Like I don't even know what that looks like. And at the same time I don't want to because we do have so much so I feel like I would be missing out if I did.
This is every single girl's perpetual nightmare, it seems. Meet guy, become friends with guy, hang out with guy often, realize that you like guy (a lot), never really know how guy feels about you. I probably can't even recall the number of times I've been in this scenario...but, I think the number is too many.

How to proceed when you find yourself in the midst of this situation is always a tough decision. One never intentionally puts themselves in this spot, I don't believe...but, inevitably, it happens. I think that maybe females are incapable of getting close to men without developing some sort of intimate connection to them. When we form the intimacy, our hearts automatically link that to romance and love.

Can we be incredibly close to men without wanting to date them? Probably sometimes, but (at least in my experience), there seems to always be a moment where we at least question and wonder about the possibility of being more. We may not even be physically attracted to the guy upon first meeting him, or even for months into our friendship, but when we've shared our heart with them and they've shared theirs with us we wake up one day and suddenly see them a bit differently. Before us is no longer our best friend, but a man that we could envision spending the rest of our lives with. It's someone that we are real with, comfortable around, knows us and likes us. It's a the type of thing they make movies out of, right?

Guys don't seem to follow the same patterns as girls, though. They can genuinely be close to a girl on an emotional level and never even go there on the romantic level. It doesn't even cross their mind. They care deeply for you, they are there for you...but it's platonic. Not always, but, a lot of the time.

So, I guess the tough decision comes back to you. In my experience, and in my conversations with guys, I've found that if a guy is interested in you he will do something about it. He may not be super speedy about it, but he will let you know if he's interested. My guess is that you aren't being super secretive about your feelings toward him, either. Meaning, you probably don't need to do or say anything to make him aware that you'd be interested in more. He knows. And, if he doesn't know, it's probably because he just hasn't thought about it before because he's not interested in you as anything more than a friend.

Sucks, I know...
BUT, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are you in this friendship solely because you want to date him? Or, do you genuinely care about him and care about being his friend? If your end goal (be honest about this) is to date him, you should back off immediately. If you're in it because you care about him, then here's where your first sacrifice comes in. Regardless of how you feel and what you hope for, I'd urge you to keep being his friend without ever letting those romantic feelings interfere with your friendship. 
  • Can you be okay just being his friend? You may really care about him and his friendship above a romantic relationship, but it doesn't mean that you're able to be his friend. If it's become something that's all-consuming and distracting, if it's become something that stirs up insecurity and should back off. If your emotional and mental health are suffering so much that it affects your entire life, you should reevaluate the friendship. He should not be your number one priority. To figure out if he might be, mentally walk through your life without him... would you be okay if that happened? 
  • How much can you handle? You may care about him, you may be okay without his existence in your life...and so you may think you can proceed in simply being friends with him. Maybe you can. Only you can really decide how much you can handle. Only you can decide how much time you should spend with him and how much of that time is spent causing more harm to your heart than good. Be willing to set up boundaries for yourself, if necessary. Don't initiate hanging out with him, don't initiate texting conversations...and even beyond initiating, you also hold the power to not hang out or to not text back. If you have to see him at various functions, enjoy the time you see him there, but be careful about extra time you spend with him-especially time alone together. This is one that requires major self-discipline because, like you said, you want to hang out with him and be close to him. So- this one is your call! 
If distancing yourself from him seems to be the next step, you don't have to make a dramatic exit from his life (although, sometimes that's a strategy women have been known to use to get guys to realize how important we are to them--don't do this). If hanging out with him less causes your nights to be lonelier, find other things to fill your time, find other people to engage in. This will leave you less likely to spend those nights fighting the urge to text him back, or go watch tv over at his place. 

So, in a nutshell... my advice? You get to decide. Is the risk worth it? 
I guess, in the end, I always think that you'll eventually get over him and be okay. In the end, I think you'll just be thankful for the friendship that you have that you didn't mess up by telling him that you liked him, while simultaneously demanding to know how he feels about you. In the end, he may just swoop out of nowhere and confess his love for you. 

No matter which way it rolls, your heart is engaged at this point. Any way you go is risky and painful, whether you try to check out completely or dive further into knowing what it means to love him at the expense of your own feelings. 

And, in the end, it's always okay. 
There's always hope. 
* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous


  1. OMG. I have read some of your posts that have sparked an interest when I have seen them on FB. This hit too close to home... and I needed to hear it. You are wonderful!

  2. Here's a perspective from a guy who was once told by a female friend that she was interested in him: She won huge respect from me, we continued to be friends, and she moved on to date other guys. It also prevented me from taking advantage of her by flirting, sending mixed messages, etc., which is something I might have done to feed my own ego.

    1. Thanks for the insight, Corey. Did she tell you just let you know without the expectation of something more coming of the conversation?
      Might the same results (you two being friends, her going on to date other guys) have happened even if she hadn't told you?