Hey, guys! So, I’m a senior in university and I have a guy best friend. I’ve always carried a torch for him, though I’ve resisted telling him for fear he doesn’t reciprocate. I’m a beauty in my own right, but I’m not his exact type: i.e., I’m not a size two; I’m more of a ten. I have a lovely face, great hair, and I carry myself with dignity and class. Anyway, this past year has been confusing for me. I’ve been noticing some subtle changes in my best friend’s behavior.
Here are some examples. He texts me several times a day (he never used to do this before). He instigated a tradition that once a week we go to dinner and a movie (it’s on a weekday). He’s cleaned up his look a bit and puts gel in his hair every time we go to dinner. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with my new interest in fashion. And sometimes, if we haven’t seen each other over the course of a day, he’ll text me and ask if we can meet up, saying, “I just haven’t seen you today”. Sometimes, I catch a different kind of look that he gives me – like his face softens and he’s admiring me. I’m not sure if he feels the ‘spark’, but I definitely do, and it makes me feel like we’re just two cowards who won’t say anything.
That said, we don’t touch much, but a few months ago, we were out celebrating my girlfriend’s birthday at a club. When it was time to go, I reached for his hand – something I never do – and he just looked at it and didn’t take it. I let it drop, feeling completely humiliated. This scene still haunts me, and it makes me doubt whether he wants more from me romantically. Plus, things get even more dicey by the fact that he has a girlfriend of six months. She’s gorgeous. Of course. They’re both incredibly good looking people: think Esquire for him and Seventeen magazine for her.
Anyway, I just wanted to run this past you and the guys. I seriously need insight, your insight – and most importantly, I don’t want to fool myself into thinking something that’s not there; something that I’m making up in my head. Confused BFF
Okay, let’s pull this one apart issue by issue. One, can you have a great guy friend who doesn’t want to jump your bones? A guy friend who just digs your company, and your friendship, and your sparkling wit and conversation, and – shock, horror – isn’t consumed with private thoughts of how mighty fine your rack is? I like to think so, and that may be the case with your bestie. If nothing sexual has happened for years and you’re that close, I’d wager he just sees you as platonic, or thinks that’s how YOU see him, which is why he’s never made a move. On the other hand, if a guy starts initiating MORE contact, outings etc than he normally is, could that be a sign he’s secretly into you? Well, sure. Your examples may well point to that.
But here’s my tough love bit. Regardless of whether it’s the first or second scenario, all the opinions I formed while reading your letter were completely blown out of the water when I hit the bit about his girlfriend. That changes this from a simple case of is-he-into-you-or-not, and adds a kind of icky are-you-trying-to-cut-another-girl’s-lunch layer into the picture. Because whether they’re happy or not is immaterial. Whether he’s hot to trot for you or not is immaterial. The decent thing to do is to back off until he’s single, and not stir the pot in the hopes you might hurry that along.
Love, reality chick
Manswers Man Mr E says… Unrequited feelings are something we all go through, but it doesn’t have to mean a broken heart. And, while lots of relationships develop from friendships, you can ruin a good friendship if you don’t play your cards right. The situation you describe sounds very similar to a relationship that one of my friends experienced. She thought a guy friend might have potential beyond platonic and was desperately unsure how to proceed. Her moment of clarity came when she met his boyfriend. Let’s not jump the gun because I’m not saying that’s the case here, but Confused – the guy is off the market. Normally, I would come from the position that men don’t spend so much time with a girl if they don’t have an interest in getting into her knickers, but his girlfriend’s been around for 6 months, there doesn’t seem to be any short term-ness about that fact. It might not last forever, but for now it kinda has shut the door for anything else, so right now my advice is maybe take a step back and to let things pass or you really could risk losing what might well be your best friend.
Manswers Man BB says… “Wouldn’t it be great if we could find out what other people thought of us without the threat of hurt feelings? Like you, Confused, I am a little, er, confused. Are you still doing the movie and dinner thing every week even though he now has a girlfriend? There’s definitely a change in his behaviour towards you, but wow – mixed signals or what? The obvious thing to do is just tell him how you feel, hold your breath and hope the feelings are reciprocal. Alternatively, you could suggest that you have met and have started seeing a fictitious other male and see what his reaction is. If he is genuinely happy for you then that’s the proof that his feelings for you are just platonic. If on the other hand he reacts unfavourably you could ask him who, in his opinion, is your type. The resulting conversation might shed some light on the possibilities of you guys being more than just friends. PS. Can I use your story to write a rom-com?
Manswers Man Dr Phil says… Girlfriend issues aside, from what you describe about his behaviour it sounds as if he does like you in that way. It reads as if he is ‘courting’ you. I know you’re friends but you spend so much time together and have such a close bond it could look as if you’re already in a relationship together – at least that’s how it could appear from the outside. I understand your reticence given the club incident when he didn’t take your hand, but that was then. Maybe he’s come around to the idea that his friend could be his lover?