Agony Aunt: Friends and the dreaded ‘Friendzone’

Q: Okay, so, I’m really, really interested in this guy (1) but I didn’t want to pursue it because our friendship is really great and cemented in my life. With this reasion, I dated a good friend (2) for less than a few weeks (though you could barely call it dating) to try and forget about it. Evidently, this did not really work out and since I felt like I was betraying both the friend (2) and myself, I broke it off. Multiple times (he couldn’t get the hint). Now, this friend (2) is making proclomations that he is “in love” with me (though it feels childish) even so you couldn’t say we really went out. I kind of want him to know that there’s another reason why I couldn’t be with him (2). There’s a part of me that wants him to know about the other guy (1). That I’ve had incredibly strong feelings for someone else and the situation is so complicated, particularly because I don’t want to pursue those feelings, that it stops me really being with anyone else. I did say there was no one else before but now, I just want him to leave me alone in this way.

A: It’s difficult writing questions like these without using names, isn’t it? I think I get what you mean though. It’s obvious that you definitely don’t want any further relationship with the friend, so make sure he knows that his feelings are unrequited. You need to be free of the non-relationship with him before you can begin to think about the other guy and what relationship you want with him, and whether or not you’re willing to risk your friendship to see if you can take things further with him.

Q: I like this girl but I think she views me as just a friend, any way I can change that??

A: First off, good on you for not using the term ‘friendzone’. Secondly, I’m going to have to say that if she doesn’t see you in a romantic way, there’s not much you can do to change her perspective. Make sure if you’re attracted to her that you don’t become the one she goes to for relationship advice, as once you become an emotional crutch it’s difficult to be seen as anything other than a friend. One thing I’d try is to break the ‘touch barrier’, by moving her hair from her face or brushing her arm, just to see how she reacts. These things – if there is any possibility of a romantic relationship – will make her think about you for that moment in a different way, and will put an idea in her head which she may or may not act on. That said, if she doesn’t feel it then you’re probably going to be met with an ‘uhh, what are you doing?’ kind of response. In which case, I’m sorry!

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