-- Question for John --
I have fallen in love with my best friend. It has been about 2 years that I have felt this way about him. I met him 3 years ago because he was dating one of my other good friends, and he would come to me for support and advice in what to do in their relationship, when they were having trouble, or he just came to me for ideas on how to make her happy.
But when they broke up he still came to see me, and cried on my shoulder when he was upset that she left him. That’s when it all started. I felt sorry for him. And each moment we spent together made me like him even more. One point over the summer he would come over to my house and we would dance to music, and sing slow romantic songs to each other. Then he gives me this look like he wants to kiss me I could tell something was there, then starts to lean over and gives me a hug, and tells me we need to find you a boyfriend.
Then one day when he was leaving my house he gives me a hug and says goodbye and as he was pulling away I kissed him on the lips. He just kinda grinned and walked away. I thought he liked me too, so I had one of my friends talk to him about what happened and he says he likes me, and will talk to me later, and never did. So I decided to talk to him about it and he said that we were too good of friends to date.
He doesn’t want to ruin the friendship, cause of the things that will happen physically, might makes us feel weird if we should happen to break up. Also he doesn’t want to hurt me. So we just stayed friends, and he dated other girls and he came to me for advice and for a shoulder to cry on, knowing how I felt about him.
Seeing him bring his girlfriends to my house broke my heart. But all I did was smile, and acted like nothing was happening to me. And seeing him getting dumped and treated bad by these other girls made me hurt inside cause I knew that I could love him better than that. And caring for him so much made my feelings stronger for him.
Somehow, he wanted me to start doing sexual favors for him, and my other guy friend told me that it was a bad idea, and that he thought I was going to get hurt, but I ignored him. I started doing sexual favors for him. Just little things. But this past month, it has gone further. I gave him my virginity.
Knowing the circumstances I did it anyway. And yes it made things worse about how I felt. And we continue to do it also. But one of my girl friends asked him the other day if he was ever going to hook up with me. Or if he even liked me one bit. He didn’t fully answer the question. He said that he wished people would quit pushing him to like me and that he doesn’t think that it will happen. To me it sound like he is scared that he does like me. Or he sounds confused in what he wants.
But no one is pushing him to like me, we are just curious of how he feels. And I am confused, and don’t know what to do. I have been trying to forget about these more than friend feelings I have for him but they won’t go away. I don’t know how to make them go away. We live in the same neighborhood, see each other everyday, and spend almost every free moment we have together. So I think it is almost impossible to get rid of these feelings I have for him. I don’t know what to do. If you could please help, cause I am going crazy. Thank You.
-- Answer from John --
What I can plainly see by your description is one simple fact. The way this relationship is working is hurting you. This is not a healthy situation. You need to see clearly that you have to make a choice here. On the one hand, you really love and want this guy. This is an emotional reality that is pulling you in one direction. On the other hand, the current results of how things are right now is hurting you, and possibly destroying your self-esteem.
You are not getting the love you want and deserve in return for the gift of love you are giving.
Yes, you can wonder and puzzle about what is going on inside of him that makes him hold back. Probably you hope that I can supply you with that magic information, something that will straighten him out and make him a loving partner for you. Maybe it is fear. Maybe he really does not feel the same as you do and is simply using you. Probably, in all honesty, the guy is a decade too young to really ever appreciate what he potentially has in you.
But all that puzzling about what is happening inside of him is just your way to hope that you can solve the puzzle and that by solving it, he will then start to embrace you with the love you want and deserve.
I am sorry to tell you that solving that puzzle is probably impossible, because it is inside of him, and he probably isn’t even aware of what is operating there; and it might take him decades to decipher it — that’s called personal growth, and it takes years; and figuring out the puzzle inside of him is probably not going to give you the love you want. You have no power over that. He is doing the best he can right now, and that does not include giving you the love you want.
I am sorry to be blunt here, but I am objectively looking at your situation, seeing that you have a clear choice to make.
Choice 1 – Keep following and giving into those feelings that you want him to love you…. and the result of this choice is that you get to stay miserable.
Choice 2 – Stand up for your own emotional and mental health, make a commitment to yourself to only give your love to someone who will absolutely reciprocate it, and do whatever you have to in order to get physical and emotional distance from this self-destructive situation.
It is your choice. In the final analysis, you are in charge of your life. And you are responsible for your own happiness. Sometimes this means we have to let go of something that we want very much but that is really not good for us.
That is called letting go of unhealthy love. Just because you truly love someone does not mean that you have a healthy relationship in store for you there. They have to love you just as much in return for that to have a chance. You need two very willing and motivated partners to co-create a healthy relationship.
You do not have such a motivated partner in this so-called “friend” — and at this point, I have my doubts as to whether you have a true friend, either. He was right, physical intimacy probably has screwed that one up for you. Just look at his track record there. (It implies that unless he has a girl who is actively hurting and rejecting him, he doesn’t feel that certain something for her. And you just aren’t that kind of destructive girl. So he isn’t turned on to you like he thinks love should feel. Get it?)
A friend would not be a party to making you so miserable. No way. Something has shifted and you need to see that. Do not let your own love for someone blind you to what is healthy for you.
YOUR PRIMARY JOB ON THIS PLANET IS TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN EMOTIONAL HEALTH. Relationships, while very important, need to come in a close 2nd place to that primary job. If a relationship conflicts with your emotional health, you need to do what you have to in order to get emotionally centered again. Right now, this means getting some very big distance from this relationship, taking that distance in whatever form you can get it. Get the support of family and your other friends to help you get this distance.