Why (Some) Friends Can't Be Lovers -- Guyville

Good friends. Close friends. Why, you ask yourself sometimes, can't it be more?

This problem is as old as Phil Gramm is chinless. Ah, the inexplicable paradox of so-much-closeness, yet not-enough-closeness. I've been on both the giving and receiving ends of this number, and I know how messed up it can be. I'm pretty sure that if this had been the question of the Sphinx, Oedipus would never have made it as big as he did (which could have been a good thing, considering).

Seriously though, what can you do in those situations? First, I suggest the slow, perhaps painful process of gaining some perspective. You have to understand that there are countless reasons why it may be him, and not you. It may be that he is not emotionally ready for a girlfriend that he actually cares about. Or maybe he loves you like a sister (in which case, sexual intimacy is unthinkable). He could be gay.

Additionally, you may be focusing so much attention on this fellow that you end up ignoring whoever else might be out there -- namely, a guy you could get just as close to, but who won't make you stay on your side of the bed on those nights when the two of you share a sleeping surface.

I think that you'll discover at some point (as I myself am hoping to) that the best long-term relationships are in fact quite similar to intimate friendships. There are notable differences, of course. But some friends may have it in their heads that "friend" and "lover" are two concepts that ought never be confused with one another. Or maybe the chemistry's just not there, despite the friendship, intimacy and closeness. On that matter, I'd suggest you consult a pheromone expert or a brewer of aphrodisiacs. I'm limited to words, words, words.

Andy Erdman is a journalist and television writer. He also has a Ph.D. in theatre and has taught at the college level. He has never worked as a topless dancer.

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