Catch 22

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    I find myself in catch 22 in regards to a relationship I have with someone.

    Last year I came out of a very long term relationship, after a few years of being unhappy, and whilst I signed up to dating sites I was not in any rush to find anyone new but rather see what happens to happen.  I felt like I had very little interest when I was on the site until I found a bloke who ticked all those boxes, and we started to chat.  I had never felt so at ease talking to someone, having done text and voice messages over a space of a few weeks.  We had a few dates over 3 months, and I felt like I could really spend lots of time with this person and felt very comfortable.  We had the same interests, and it just clicked, until I had that dreaded message whereby they told me they felt nothing more than friendship, and they were quite upset they didn’t feel more as I am a nice person and they thought we would be well suited.  I naturally asked if this was something that over time might develop, and they said it would be unfair for them to say that to me as it would never be more than friends.  They were happy being friends if I felt ok with that.

    At the time I thought about it and decided I would really miss their friendship, and its not like it had developed in to anything at that point.  We are now a further 3 months down the line, we have maintained messaging each other every day like we had done previously (minus the more “playful” messages).  This has been nice, especially at a time when we are unable to socialise, and feel like we have developed a really nice friendship.

    We are both active on dating sites, but I fear if he got with anyone I would find this upsetting, and I am holding back in my attempts to find anyone as they aren’t him.

    I accepted his decision, I thought I had, but very recently find my feelings have grown.  He was exactly what I want in life, the friendship we have is exactly what I want from a life partner, our interests are so in sync etc etc.

    I could cut ties, try and move on, but I would be so upset to lose an amazing friendship that has grown over the last 6 months, when I don’t have many friends.  I am in catch-22, and will be hurt which ever choice, I think I am doing the right thing by valuing friendship above anything else?



    I will read and reply to you in about 14 hours from now.



    Dear MrsRobin:

    Because you asked him if a friendship with him is “something that over time might develop”, and he answered that “it would never be more than friends”, better you accept his answer as true.

    There is a concept in psychotherapy called radical acceptance, it means accepting reality for what it is, not hoping or trying to change it. With radical acceptance there is way less suffering around the reality that we once resisted. Here is an online definition of the term: “Radical acceptance is about accepting life on life’s terms and not resisting what you cannot or choose not to change. Radical acceptance is about saying yes to life, just as it is” (Psychology today. com).

    Maybe this concept/ skill, once you thoroughly absorb it and practice it in regard to this man will make a friendship with him possible, and free you to pursue a romantic relationships with a different man. What do you think?


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