The feeling isn't mutual. Is our friendship over? :(

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2013
The feeling isn't mutual. Is our friendship over? :(
4
Wed, 04-24-2013 - 2:05pm

Hello all, I am in search of answers & advice regarding the situation I have found myself in. I have a best guy friend that I started hanging out with over a year ago, and since have become very close. We talk and/or see each other daily. However, it has been known to me for a while he has developed feelings for me, and has even blurted out that he "loves" me and wants to be with me (while drinking of course). He always asks to come over to my place, or if I'm going out he always wants to come with me (which I don't mind because I like hanging out with a 'friend'). Although, the fact that he is pretty much always with me, people assume we're together, and guys are afraid to approach me with him around. He has gotten upset if another guy shows interest in me or talks to me. Despite how incredibly nice this guy has been to me, I cannot reciprocate the feeling of being "in love" with him, and I actually feel guilty about it because I do love him as a person. I have been honest with him about lacking those feelings, but the issue remains. I'm afraid to hurt him or lose his friendship, but I also desire the feeling of being in love again. What is the best way to handle this?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post, and/or offer your advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

First, stop taking him along when you go out. You're hoping to meet other men and fall in love which isn't going to happen with your buddy guarding you, as you've already seen. Find some girlfriends to go out with, or a mixed group, but not a single guy who acts like he's your bf.

Second, cut back on the emotional closeness. It may be "leading him on" into thinking that you care for him than more than a friend (regardless of what you said to him in words, actions speak louder). Figure out exactly what you are getting out of this "friendship", if you are using him as a filler until you meet a potential bf, is there any aspect of an "emotional affair", or what your relationship is. If he is in love with you he is going to get hurt at some point and you probably will lose his friendship (like when you meet somebody and transfer all of the time and emotional energy into new man). Or its possible that when he actually sees you with another man that he will get over his romantic feelings and then you will be just really good friends...but since he's stayed infatuated this long, I kind of doubt that.

Personally I was always uncomfortable hanging out with a guy that I knew liked me in a way I could not return. It felt like leading him on and giving him hope that my feelings would change. But I also didn't continue to hang out with guys that didn't return my feelings either, too much self-torture. Only you can decide how uncomfortable the situation makes you feel.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2007

We all like adoration and attention, but you seem to be leading him on, kind of.  By spending so much time with him, you are giving him the impression that there's a chance.  

Go out without him and maybe you'll meet someone, maybe not.  If you do, and you mention a date to this guy, he should be happy for you.  If he's not, I'd begin to wonder if he is really your friend.  

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012

dreamseeker_xo wrote:
<p>Hello all, I am in search of answers &amp; advice regarding the situation I have found myself in. I have a best guy friend that I started hanging out with over a year ago, and since have become very close. We talk and/or see each other daily. However, it has been known to me for a while he has developed feelings for me, and has even blurted out that he "loves" me and wants to be with me (while drinking of course). He always asks to come over to my place, or if I'm going out he always wants to come with me (which I don't mind because I like hanging out with a 'friend'). Although, the fact that he is pretty much always with me, people assume we're together, and guys are afraid to approach me with him around. He has gotten upset if another guy shows interest in me or talks to me. Despite how incredibly nice this guy has been to me, I cannot reciprocate the feeling of being "in love" with him, and I actually feel guilty about it because I do love him as a person. I have been honest with him about lacking those feelings, but the issue remains. I'm afraid to hurt him or lose his friendship, but I also desire the feeling of being in love again. What is the best way to handle this?</p><p>Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my post, and/or offer your advice.</p>

You need to start owning your voice and telling him "no" and meaning it when he asks to come over or to go hang with you when you go out.  He is taking advantage of your niceness by elbowing his way into your plans and p-blocking other guys.  However, like the other posters have mentioned, you're also leading him on, and that's not cool, either.  If he has no chance with you, then you need to pull up the big girl pants and be prepared for him to withdraw the friendship until he can get over his hurt feelings.

His feelings for you should never overshadow or rule over your feelings and the course you set for your own life if those feelings cannot be reciprocated.

Him being nice to you has nothing to do with you owing him feelings you do not have for him.  He should be nice to you if he's your friend. That's a given.  But look at what's going on here: he's not afraid of abusing your friendship with him or playing this passive/aggressive game with your feelings---if you dont give him what he wants, then he's going to withhold his friendship or not be nice?

Is that really the kind of "friend" you want in your life?  One who is manipulating you to do/act what/how you don't want to do/act?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009

I agree with what's already been said.  If he has feelings for you, then I think it's cruel to continue the friendship knowing that he wants more.  Maybe you don't need to end the friendship permanently, but it might be a good idea to take a break from each other for a while because it's not fair to either of you to continue on the way things currently stand.