July 11, 2011

Friends or Lovers? Part 1

I hear this all the time. He finds her attractive but she only wants to be friends. What to do.

Here is a question a man asked me, that reflects this dilemma.

"For a long time I have been quite taken with this girl. We've known each other for almost four years and are pretty much best friends. We did try dating once briefly but she thought it felt weird and broke it off. We stayed close, and then things started getting confusing. She had a surgery that she was kinda freaked about. For emotional support I decided to go with her, and she seemed very touched by this and after the surgery we started holding hands.

Things were pretty normal for a while after that, and we were just friends again. Then, a couple months later, we went to a concert out of town, and my brother joined us, and that's when things got really confusing. Remember the hand holding? Well during our road trip there was a lot of that. We also would cuddle and hold each other. We slept in the same bed cuddling as we did so. When we met my grandma and my aunt at a restaurant before the concert, we held hands under the table so they wouldn't see. She would sometimes caress my arm or rest her head on my shoulder. The crazy part is she has a boyfriend and it seems their relationship is getting serious since they're moving in together. But while we were together she rarely mentioned him and I'm sure had he been around, we wouldn't have gotten so lovey-dovey with each other. When people ask, she insists that we are just friends, but the signals I'm getting from her tell a different story and I don't know what to think anymore. How would you interpret these signals? Are they "just friends" signals? Am I only seeing what I want to see here? ".

My advice:

No, of course these signals are not "just friends" signals, and you are very right to be confused. So it is high time for some clarity.

The fact that you had to hide holding hands from your family clearly shows that something is wrong here. If it was right, you would be doing it in the open. You are hiding something. Or rather she is hiding something, or someone – you! It seems like she wants to keep both of you: you as the eternal loving buddy (with best friends there are hardly any conflicts), and the boyfriend, who obviously for her has some advantage over you, but perhaps does not have some of the qualities she likes in you. I'm also sure that she wouldn't want her boyfriend to see her holding hands with you! Which means she knows this is not right.

You are emotionally involved with a woman who in the worst case scenario is playing with you, or in the best case scenario is simply very confused and unrealistic about her relationships with men.You may be in love with a girl who ignores your feelings -- to get what she wants. And if she doesn't do it intentionally, she is just too confused to be a good partner.

Best is if you talk to her, put the cards on the table, and assertively but calmly explain to her that you did some thinking about the whole situation, and that you know for sure that a man and a woman do not hold hands and sleep in the same bed "as friends". You need to make it clear to her, by saying it, that you are interested in her romantically, and if she is not equally interested in you, then you'd rather stop pretending you have a romantic thing going on. Ask her directly if she has romantic feelings for you. If she says "yes" she then needs to choose between you and the bf. If she says "no", then it's the official signal to move away from this awkward "relationship", and start moving forward, and in another direction, and mostly to start investing in YOU. There are many girls out there who will appreciate the kind of devotion you can offer a woman. There is no reason for you to feel happy with leftovers.

I'd like to see you shifting your romantic interest to someone who is available for you emotionally, someone who wants to be with you, who considers you the man in her life. You hoping that things will turn around did not yield any results so far. So your best strategy is to stay away from this girl, regain clarity, and look elsewhere for romantic love.

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