July 15, 2011

Friends or Lovers? Part 2

To better understand this question please read Part 1 first.

A few days later I was contacted again and here is what I was asked:

“Are you saying that if she doesn't share my feelings I should stop talking to her? I don't know if I can do that, because first and foremost, she is my best friend. I don't know if I can just walk away from her.” 

My advice:
It all depends on you. If you are able (REALLY) to forget about your romantic aspirations, and see her just as a friend, without secretly hoping that she will change her mind one day, then of course you can be friends with her. But for most people when they truly decide to emotionally detach from someone with whom things don't work -- often distancing themselves for a while from that person is a good strategy.

I am worried that you will not move on with your life, just sticking around the girl in case it ends between her and the boyfriend. If you however started seeing another girl and your “best friend” is with her boyfriend, then I know it would be easier for you to keep your friendship going. But you would realize then that your emotional attachment shifts to your new romantic subject, and you may not desire to keep in close touch with your friend as you do now. Right now you have become so attached to your friend that it seems like a horrible idea to you to take a break from her, as if she was your lover.

To have a healthy "best friends" relationship with your friend here is what I advise:

A. Understand she is not yours, and will never be, and therefore have no expectations whatsoever that something will happen between the two of you some day. This understanding is really crucial to implement B. With this understanding you may at first feel hurt, angry, and sad. But you will get over these feelings as they are normal stages in healing. You can't be in a healthy relationship with her as friends, until you internalize that romantically you lost her, and accept it.

B. Start seeing other girls. Look for another romantic interest AFTER you went through the stages described above. And when you feel better, and motivated, look around, and see which girl attracts you. Look for someone available, not someone who is in a relationship. Exclude immediately those in a relationship, or emotionally unavailable for any reason. You can find out when a person is available emotionally when they reciprocate with you. In all your relationships you want to have reciprocation.

Also, you need to acknowledge the nature of her behaviour. Her actions seem to be manipulative. She knows you're interested in her but she still lets you develop expectations despite the fact she has a boyfriend. This is absolutely wrong on her side. Why would you want to be friends with someone so manipulative? As I mentioned in my previous reply -- she could also be just very confused, and confusing you too in the process, in which case friendship with her is not a great idea. Always seek as friends people with positive basic qualities.

One last thing, there’s no good alternative for a direct, honest conversation. If you consider yourselves best friends, you would surely be able to have an open and sincere conversation. You need to talk to her and clear things out between the two of you. She should tell you very clearly that she has no romantic interest in you. You need to hear it from her, clearly said. Then truly accept it, with all the grief it will cause you. Only then can you be real best friends.

You will be making a grave mistake if you don't make an effort to see where you really are. I want to see you moving forward, not stuck in the rut. 

Copyright 2011 The Single Option. All Rights Reserved

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