Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,
My dilemma is this: I’m a woman in my mid 20’s and I’m in love with one of my best friends, he of course isn’t aware of this. Our situation is rather a long and at times complicated story. About 2 1/2 years ago me and “Brad” started sleeping together, eventually I told him of my desire for a relationship, which he felt at the time wouldn’t work. (Mostly due to the fact that I had ended a long relationship a few months prior to this with a good friend of his and he felt conflicted about that.) We did continue sleeping together off and on for the next few months however until I began a relationship with someone else. This I later acknowledged was to get over Brad, which in reality failed miserably, when I realized about a year into that relationship that I still had very strong feelings for him. Before I ended that relationship (which I had been wanting to do for a long time before I got the guts to), he had told me of a change of heart he had regarding us, and told me that if I was single that he would be willing to try a real relationship with me.
So once I was single again I was thrilled at the prospect of having what I’d wanted for so long. Then of course the doubt crept in. I kept going back and forth if I thought he still felt the same way, so I of course kept silent and didn’t risk my feelings getting hurt again. Then many months later, I was finally able to confess my feelings once more. But this time he told me that things had changed, and he didn’t feel he could be in a relationship with anyone (he told me that he had too many of his own emotional issues to deal with)
I respect his decision, but this leaves me very hurt of course. I care for him deeply, we get along great together, and he’s one of the few people I can open up to about certain things (except the most important apparently). What this whole saga has been leading to is the question of how can I get over someone that I’m close friends with? We share the same very tight knit group of friends, so cutting him out of my life isn’t even remotely an option and I wouldn’t want to do anyway since I value his friendship very much. I talk to him almost every day, and hang out together with our friends almost every weekend. And to add some more of my craziness into this, in a way I feel like I’m half of one those TV couples that everyone wants to get together, but due to various complications or misunderstandings they don’t or they just take a long time to get there (like Jim and Pam on The Office for example). So in a way, I don’t want to get over these feelings at all, I just want that time to come when things mesh for both us, which may never even happen!
So please, any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!
Crazy in love
And no, I don’t think you’re crazy. I think you are in a situation that all of us find ourselves in at one time or another.
Want my peel-off-the-Band-Aid-quick, get right to it response? Pull a Sally Albright.
Meg Ryan as Sally Albright in “When Harry Met Sally”
Since you’re in your mid-twenties, I’m going to assume you haven’t seen this lil’ gem. Basically, Harry and Sally are two friends – the best of friends actually – then, they sleep together. And it turns everything upside down because Harry thinks it was a mistake and Sally, well…she wants more, but doesn’t want to have to “beg” him to think of her in that way.
So, you know what she does?
She has enough self-respect to believe she’s worth more than either “friends with benefits” or to just remain friends (without sex) with someone she’s in love with…why? Because it would hurt her too much. So she pulls away, and it kills both of them to be apart. But she sticks to her guns…and eventually, he gets over himself and his bullshit enough and they fall in love, get married – the whole shebang…
The only way it’s acceptable, as far as I’m concerned, for you two to remain friends at this point is if you fall out of love with him and are actually rooting for him to find love with another. Are you there yet? Not even close? Then I promise you…whatever benefit you get from keeping you two in the “friends” category hurts you much more than it helps you.
Let him know your feelings haven’t changed…and that you want it to be you and him. However, if he still doesn’t want a relationship with you, that’s the way it goes, but then you must protect yourself – BE GOOD TO YOURSELF – and say good-bye. Now, since you travel in the same circles, “good-bye” in this case means you don’t avoid running into each other, but you don’t talk everyday on the phone, and you don’t cozy up to each other when out with your friends. You’re civil, kind – but not chummy. Why? Because he doesn’t get the gift of your friendship when you’re trying to get over him. And then, Ms. Crazy in Love, be strong enough to hold to it…can you do that? Because by gambling on yourself, one of two things are going to happen:
(1) Brad’s going to miss you enough to want you for himself, or
(2) He’s not, and then you know where he stands once and for all, which will eventually free your heart to move on.
Easier said than done, I know…but the alternative is living in limbo indefinitely. And that’s not any way to live, honey. And by the way, might be a good time to find some other friends to hang with, in addition to your current group.