October 2, 2019 at 12:01 am #315487
As the title suggests, I am struggling with being in love with my best friend for 2 years.
A short summary of our relationship is that we’ve been friends for 6 years. We went to the same university, but became a lot lot closer 4 years now to the point our friends constantly ask about our relationship and think I’m friendzoning him. We tell each other literally everything from what we’re eating right now to our family issues. We also help each other in everything like finishing thesis, shopping, etc. Then he moved to another country to work but we’re still keeping in touch, we chat everyday. And when he’s back home, we always arrange our meet.
I realize that my feelings became really stronger for the past 2 years. He cares so much for me…and I believe, in the first year of our relationship, he loved me the way I want it to now. He was very verbal at that time, even said he tried to flirt with me. Over the years, we had many arguments and many fights (like once every 2-3 months) over the small things but we could always make up because we care each other so much. But because of those arguments, I felt that he became more comfortable with being my best friend rather than my potential partner.
We had tough arguments about a week ago and I was really really mad. We haven’t reached out to each other since then. I was so mad and sad at the same time that he didn’t even ask me whether I’m still mad or not. I don’t know if it’s because he really doesn’t care at all or thinks he’s a bad friend for me (it happened once). If the situations were reversed, if he’s getting mad during our arguments, sure I would let him calm down first, but it wouldn’t take long for me to reach out and apologize to him and so on.
On the other hand, it’s my chance to take a distance from him and try to forget my feelings for him, since I can’t be a good friend to him if my feelings are involved. But I also don’t want him to think that he’s a bad friend, that I’m still not over our arguments, and don’t care at all. I’m really really confused. I need some advice on what to do.
Has this happened to you guys? How do you deal with it?
Sorry my english isn’t quite good.
Thanks for any advice
VOctober 2, 2019 at 3:35 am #315495
I suggest that you make contact with your friend and tell him that you have strong feelings for him and that you would like your relationship to be a romantic one. He isn’t able to guess how you feel so just be open about it. The time wasn’t right for you six years ago to be romantically linked with him but now it is. You may need to give him some time to respond to this but if you don’t try, you won’t know.
PeggyOctober 2, 2019 at 7:05 am #315515
This is a classic dynamic as old as time. Guy and girl become friends. Guys and girl get so close one of two things will happen: They will either become Lovers or Siblings. You have been virtual siblings for so many years. He is your obvious mate, but you wouldn’t sleep with your brother, would you? And yet, he’s not your brother!
He is feeling exactly the same way. You two fight because since you can’t make passionate love, the passion comes out through fights!
Confess your feelings, one of you! Of course, the relationship will never be the same, but something different WOULD be preferable at this point.
InkyOctober 2, 2019 at 7:12 am #315517
Hi Peggy, thank you so much for your reply! I think you’re right, and you’ve put into words what I’ve been trying to make myself face up to. I considered telling him about this many many times but always afraid that it would ruin our friendship. I was coming to this conclusion because several time he explicitly said things indicating he didn’t love me that way…like “I never fall in love with my girl friend” or “you should go date him” (when some other guy confessed his feelings for me, and such.
I can rarely form quite intense bonds with people, but with him…it’s like we’re so much connected. I really don’t want to lose him. Thank you for the reminder that I should reconsider telling him. I think I need to take a step back, calm down, and find my way to tell him. Not sure it’ll happen in the near future tho 🙁
VOctober 2, 2019 at 8:18 am #315547
Yeah, you’re right, thanks for the advice. If I tell him how I really feel, whatever the result will be so much preferable than letting it die for nothing. I need to gather all my courage to do it, and also find the right time. Please wish me best of luck!
VOctober 2, 2019 at 8:26 am #315549
Don’t dwell on it for too long or it won’t happen. He’s still single so I guess he hasn’t fallen in love with the right woman yet, friend or not. Take courage and go for it.
PeggyOctober 2, 2019 at 9:14 am #315571
Sorry I forgot to add some info on why I always refrain myself from telling him how I feel. Long story short, he was growing up from a family that’s very far from ideal. He kinda doesn’t understand why people should or would marry. In our early friendship, he even told me that he doesn’t want to pursue marriage. But he wants a girlfriend, someone who would always be there for him and vice versa, without any marriage bond. I have no idea if he still has these thoughts or not. Tbh, I’m confused, because other times he told me he was so sure none would want him to be their spouse, thus he wanted to live single life.
Second, he’s kind of putting me in a high pedestal. He always says that he doesn’t deserve me as his best friend, that he’s a bad person and I’m a good one, that he feels bad in wasting my time on him. Everytime I mentioned good things about him, he didn’t believe me, saying I did that to cheer him up. Yes, he kind of has constant mild depression. I asked him to go seek professional help many times but he always refused, saying at least he looks fine from the outside.
So yeah, that’s why I haven’t told him how I feel all this time. He must feel bad dragging me into loving him, or even worst, he won’t believe what I say. I’m so very much confused :'(
Thx for reading!
VOctober 2, 2019 at 9:22 am #315577
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Hi Peggy,</p>
Thanks for your response. Yes, he’s still single and hasn’t told me about any girl he likes. He told my other guy friend about many attractive girls tho haha. But yes, he said he never found one girl he wants to commit and thought will never be, as I said in my previous post. He even said he wanted to live like a single Japanese male, just with a cat anf bonsai. I was so sad to hear him say this stuff in front of me.
Anyway thanks for the suggestions Peggy! Will put much thoughts to it.
VOctober 2, 2019 at 10:22 am #315591
If this guy is a friend, even a “best friend” and he is depressed and has a low self esteem, so much so that you suggested he seeks professional help, the least you can do to help him is to no longer argue and fight with him: “Over the years, we had many arguments and many fights… We had tough arguments about a week ago”-
-nothing good comes out of arguing and fighting- all it does is hurt the people involved. Aggression is not part of friendship or a romantic love relationship. Aggression is part of war, it happens between enemies.
You can talk calmly, talk about conflicts and difference of opinions in a calm, non-aggressive way as friends or future lovers- that will help him and you.
anitaOctober 3, 2019 at 9:39 am #315805
Thanks for your answer. Yes, you’re right, I completely agree with you and many times I try to keep our discussion calm and under control.
Usually, he’s the one to initiate discussions that could lead to tough arguments. I love discussing with him, he is one of brilliant minds I know. but sometimes we can’t control our emotions. We’re both so stubborn, so usually we ended up our arguments by letting each other calm down (saying explicitly) and it takes 2-3 days for us to get back to our normal routine (chatting). but not this time, it feels like…he gives up on me and doesn’t care how upset he made me :'( …but thanks for the suggestion!
VOctober 3, 2019 at 10:35 am #315821
You are welcome.
“we can’t control our emotions… Usually we ended our arguments by letting each other calm down”-
– key is to calm down before arguing and fighting. When discussing something, and you feel your emotions become intense, if you feel that you cannot proceed calmly, end the conversation and continue later, maybe over email where it is easier to control one’s behavior. On the phone, you may find your voice louder, maybe yelling. Online, unless you use capital letters, no one can .. hear you yell.
There are books and workbooks in libraries, book stores and online regarding interpersonal skills/ effective communication that provide tools and strategies on the matter.
What arguing and fighting does, that is, aggression- it turns people off, make them withdraw and this is what may have happened here, likely, I am thinking.
If he withdrew from you because of the aggression, and if you are to communicate with him again, best that you attend to this matter first, to see to it that the two of you can communicate with no aggression in the future.
anitaOctober 3, 2019 at 11:27 am #315833
Hi again Vesper,
Out of all the women in the world, there is not one that will suit your friend. He’s playing the ‘poor little me, no-one will ever want me so I may as well resign myself to being single and live with bonsai and cats’. (Japanese men have wives.)
I’m not sure what you do with someone who is so down on themselves – he’s the one that has to want to change. Unless he recognizes that he has a problem, he won’t embark on any form of self-help or improvement. You can encourage him to face the past if you ever get to talk to him again or you can move on, meet someone who does want to be with you full time, and perhaps stay in the background for your friend who seems to want to wallow in self pity for the rest of time. From what you say, I don’t believe that a love relationship would work out between you.
PeggyOctober 4, 2019 at 6:48 pm #316151
Hi again Anita!
Thanks for the suggestions, that helps!. I don’t know why he withdaws from me and we haven’t communicate since. So I think I’ll attend to those things first, I mean learning interpersonal skills/ effective communication.
VOctober 4, 2019 at 6:48 pm #316153
No, he’s not down all the times. Yes, he recognizes it, but doesn’t think it’s unnecessary to find help.
“I don’t believe that a love relationship would work out between you-“…I had similar thought. But I really really care for him and want to be there for him, be it as a friend or a gf. But I can’t do it right now, as a friend who has romantic feelings.
“You can encourage him to face the past if you ever get to talk to him again or you can move on-“…is it better for me to talk to him or distance myself then? assuming, he won’t initiace contact anythime soon. Thank you so much!!
VOctober 5, 2019 at 3:51 am #316185
Do you think you are able to go back to a place where you cease to have romantic feelings for your friend? The only time I can envisage this happening is when you find someone else to share romance with. If you are able to contact your friend by text or phone, perhaps you could explain that you have feelings for him which you realize may not be reciprocated and for the time being you will distance yourself from him. In other words, do both if you are able to.
My instinct tells me that it would be better if you moved on but I know that whatever decision you make, it has to be one that you can live with.
I’m going to be away for a couple of days so I will pick up on your response next week.