I just started dating a guy who’s been my best friend for many years. I’ve known him for years, liked him right from the start and was obsessed with him until we started dating, but now it feels wrong. Firstly, it hasn’t even been a week but already he’s told me that he loves me. Secondly, he’s EXTREMELY clingy. He needs to be around me 24/7 and know everything which also gets on my nerves.
I haven’t said as much, because I don’t want to be rude, and because he’s always been my best friend – but this guy as a boyfriend isn’t everything I hoped. I’ve tried to give him subtle hints that I need my space and I’m not used to all this ‘togetherness’ but he doesn’t get it. And, while he’s pouring his heart and soul out to me, my subconcious mind is thinking about how to break up with him and preserve our friendship. I don’t even want him to kiss me. Friends are telling me that I’ve been obsessing too long and now I’ve lost interest and I’m a skank. Others are saying that I love him but I’m nervous that I might actually be happy with him. In any case, it is emotionally draining. I’m confused and don’t know what to do. Ashley
The whole friends-to-lovers thing can work, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, I think male/female friendships remain platonic for a reason. You never get it on because you’re just never meant to, and although there may be the occasional ‘what-if’ frisson, it never quite catches the spark. We’ve got to acknowledge those not-quite-right feelings – especially if we’re lonely and single – and not force a thing that’s not really there in the first place.
I’m not saying NECESSARILY that this is what you’ve done, Ashley, but let me tell you a story. When I was in my early 20s, I became fixated on a male friend. He’d been my faux boyfriend for years, and I completely romanticised what it might be like if he were my, you know, real one. Then the planets aligned, and one afternoon we found ourselves making out at his house. Immediately, I wanted to stop. It was nothing like the fairytale fantasy I’d built up in my head, and I manufactured an excuse to leave because I couldn’t wait to get out of there and do a spider dance of wrongness to shake it off.
Your guy is a great friend, but that’s where it ends. For you, anyway. And that’s OK. It’s okay even if he’s madly in love with you. Sure, maybe you had a part to play in orchestrating the move from platonic friends to more – but that doesn’t mean you’re required to find a reason to stay together when you know you’re not feeling it. You can be sorry about that, you can love the guy to bits on a platonic level, but you don’t have to pretend or or try and convince yourself that all those sexy feelings are about to click in. You don’t even want the guy to kiss you and to me that’s a big red neon sign – with flashing lights – that says You Are So Not Into Him. Romantically that is.
So, treasure. My advice to you is to see this for what it is (a kinda strange lapse of judgement). End it now, before you or he gets any more knee-deep than you already are. Chances are, you’ll feel relieved, and while there are sure to be hurt feelings (and possibly imminent heartbreak on his part), if you’re kind about it, and straight up about it, maybe in time you guys can salvage the friendship side of things.
Love, reality chick