To Tell or Not To Tell
I have an urgent problem! Since it’s been persisting for about eight months, you might think it’s not urgent, but it certainly feels like it at this point.
You see…I like this boy…
I’ve known him for a while, and he’s a good friend. Not a best friend, or anything that could resemble a creepy, impossible to exit, almost-sibling bond…just a good friend. He and I have similar interests, extremely entertaining conversations, and I like his hair and his smile and practically all of his jokes. Two problems:
1) He has a girlfriend.
2) I don’t know if he feels at all similarly.
Problem Number One is a big one, since I sincerely believe that it’s bad form to move in on another lady’s gentleman caller. I don’t want to break them up. I honestly don’t. But that brings me to Problem Number Two.
I can’t read this guy. He seems to like having me around, and we make a reasonable effort to hang out on a fairly frequent basis, but it’s not like he makes cotton candy eyes at me and tells me I’m beautiful during intimate moments.
But it’s to the point where I am having a hard time being just his friend. I don’t have an agenda, other than not feeling like a fraud around him anymore. So…what do I do? Do I tell him anything? Do I continue to keep quiet so we avoid the potentially awkward fall-out where I try to convince him I’m fine being just his friend while secretly listening to Damien Rice before I fall asleep? I am in full recognition that I’m not part of an epic Jim/Pam love story. It’s just a crush that won’t seem to fade. Help me, Oh Wise Purveyor of Wisdom!
First of all, thank you ever so much for addressing me by my proper title. Flattery will get you everywhere, my darling.
Now, on to your problem. First, I’d like to say Congratulations for falling in to what I can reasonably assume is a full-on crush/love! It is so hard to find something as energizing and awesome as love in this day-and-age of mean bullies (both in the schoolyard and running for political office), economic hardship (of course we at Donnybrook Manor know nothing of that, but I’ve been told it’s rough out there), and an October chill in the air that can only mean WINTER IS COMING, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES. So, even though it’s a problem for you (more on that in a moment), take some time to be grateful that your brain is seeing fit to douse you with endorphins and happy juices every time you see this guy.
The fact that you’re not sure where he’s coming from does sour things a bit, though, doesn’t it? On one hand, you have the potential for a great relationship with this guy. On the other hand, it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good friendship.
SO. It’s time for some tough love, my dear.
Problem Number One- You don’t say whether or not he’s had this relationship since you started having feelings for him- I’m going to assume yes. So, for a relationship to survive at least 8 months, there must be something good there, even if you’re not seeing it.
Problem Number Two- He probably doesn’t feel the same way. Sorry.
Now, hear me out before you pull out the Damien Rice and cry yourself to sleep tonight, you adorable little melodramatic thing, you! I’m sure he likes you, and I bet he’s probably even considered a relationship with you. But the fact that he’s still with his girlfriend means he either a) considered and rejected a relationship with you (ouch, I know), or b) he’s too much of a pussy to get out of his current relationship and pursue something with you. Whatever the case, the mere fact that he’s still in this other relationship means he’s decided against anything with you, at least at this moment in time.
So… my advice.
Bottom line is- he needs to know how you feel so he can make an informed decision, and so that you stop feeling like a fraud. All you can do is give him all the pertinent info, i.e. “I want to be with you.” Ideally you’ll do this in a way that will give him the gist of what you’re feeling, but will keep the awkwardness between you two to a minimum, yes? Let him know your situation, and listen to his.
And THEN. You back off, be his friend, and move on. Try to date other people. Take an art class!! Join a hiking club!
Be honest with yourself. Recognize when your feelings for this guy have gone from cute and fun to self-mutilating. Do whatever you have to do to get your own happiness back. If you have to back off the friendship, then do so. Know that a strong friendship will survive a little bit of awkwardness. And if he’s a good guy, and a good friend, he will understand your need to take a step back and re-assess.
Best case scenario is you get yourself a cool new boyfriend and live happily ever after. Worst case scenario is the crush really does fade and you move on. Either way, happiness prevails, huzzah!
Friendship Related articles
- Dear Wendy: “My Friend Dumped Me And I Want Her Back” (thefrisky.com)
- A Highly Effective Friendship Service To Help Get Through These Difficult Times (prweb.com)
- Change of Plans? My BFF fell in love with my roommate (psychologytoday.com)
- Dr. Irene S. Levine: When anxiety looms over a close friendship (huffingtonpost.com)