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Kristin
Kristin, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience:  Psychotherapist and Relationships Expert with 11+ years exp. Dating, Relationships, Marriage.
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I think I am in love with my best friend. I dont know what

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I think I am in love with my best friend. I don't know what to do.
Perhaps I am a cliche, the kind of person this would happen to. I am pretty much on my own at the moment, don't have a lot of family, friends or acquaintances, and have had a pretty hectic time on the personal and career front the past couple of years. Depression came, and is being managed by my doctor, and my best friend Jon has had a lot to do with the lifting of this.

About us...
We've known each other for 2.5 years, and been super close for 2. Even when I lived abroad for a few months we emailed twice a day. Now, he is the first person I communicate with in the am, via text or email, and the last person on the phone before I sleep. We see each other all the time, we get invitations as 'we'... We're becoming the same (which hasn't been bad for me I needed life positivity!).
Naturally I realised he was all I ever thought about, and it was really upsetting because we are so close I know he doesn't feel the same way about me. We are both single, and whilst I accepted this 'unrequited love' and hoped it will go away, I became paranoid he will meet someone before it did.
This made me feel ugly and unworthy of him, and it has tainted my self image, my already non existent social life.
I took all those quizzes, read the self help books, and tried to be honest and real with myself. It did not make any sense.
Here he is an adult (32), acting like my boyfriend, paying for dinner, including me in future plans, introducing me to his friends and family and not incidentally he really (told me) wanted me to like them, and them to approve of me... WHY?
I got so upset about this, last week I went off on him a bit, without real provocation (just imagined future girlfriends, and past ones who I felt less than) I asked him what he was doing with me, and if I was some sort of phase in his life.
I suppose this was half my question, but I was beginning to feel like I was imagining reciprocal feelings, does that make sense?
He told me I was the closest person to him -in the world. That he cannot imagine life without me, how he survived before me - well, he must have been living a lie. I admitted that I was scared and because of the way my life is compared to his, I feel like it is easier to take this 'us' for granted, when I've never shared this much of myself with anyone, and don't know if I'm strong enough to deal when he gets over this 'female best friend phase', and I'll rather be an acquaintance than this and always on edge (I couldn't bring myself to admit feeling like a stand in girlfriend). He told me I had nothing to be afraid of.. I should trust in 'us' etc.
Obviously all this is good, but not 'I love you too', so I was happy I did not go there and humiliate myself. I have been trying to tell myself it's okay, perhaps he does love me this much, in every other life aspect we merge perfectly.. I figured he just does not find me attractive (though I have overheard him being very complimentary about my 'looks' to his 'male friends' lots of times), and I've become 'family' or whatever.
I am alone, and this is good for me.. Better than no one.
Then I think, yes, good... Until he meets so and so. Who may not know him at all, but who will want to have sex with. I wander if this friendship is attacking my already extremely bruised self esteem (perhaps I should mention I have a pretty low self image due to abuse as a teen, sexual and physical), as whilst I can imagine him dating and picking up girls, I can't do that myself.

I could keep writing, there is so much. I know him inside and out, and vice versa.. Things no one else does. Yet I don't know if I can do this.. If I was more normal maybe I can see this clearly, logically and just be his bestfriend. Yet I am so emotionally involved with him, the lack of physical involvement feels like a very personal attack.
I don't even know how to explain this anymore.

Please give me the best advice you can.
Thanks.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Kristin replied 4 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

 

It doesn't sound like there is anything unusual about your feelings for Jon. Let me ask you something before I give you an answer. Have you ever told him or hinted that you have an attraction or are in love with him? Has he ever made a pass at you or flirted with you? When he says just trust in us, what does he mean? As a couple or what exactly? And has he been involved with any other women since knowing you as a friend?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I hinted at my feelings for him, just about a year and half ago actually.. At the time, I wasn't too sure of my feelings myself. We were spending all our free time together, from outings to the mundane basics like grocery shopping and watching tv reruns at his place or mine. VERY domestic... It seemed like that was were we would go next. So I asked him why we had never hooked up teasingly and I remember clearly (I was in bed next to him, it was morning, we sometimes sleep over... Though I have stopped this and promised myself never again) he said.. 'But we are soo close, we would ruin the friendship', and I took it as guy speak for 'not just that into you' and dropped it. I had to move for work temporarily, the following week, so I tried to put it out of my mind, but as I mentioned in my question... Even when abroad we communicated all the time, I could tell you what he had for breakfast. In a way guys dont normally share, in ways i know he doesn't share with anyone else.

He speaks of us all the time.. He finds 'us' in everything. A boy and girl spy tv show is on at the moment, and his new nickname for me is Lana and vice versa (sometimes I wander if the fact that the spies are a couple - passes him!).
He speaks of 'us' in a best friend, special friend, other half kind of way... He compares me to his brothers wife in terms of peas in a pod, know each other completely way. Our friendship is beyond what anyone expects, thats why its hard to explain... He knows my cycle, sends me poetry he finds and thinks I will appreciate, buys two copies of dvds or books whenever he goes shopping... We ARE a couple, but we have never and seemingly will never have sex... Leaving us both single and him 'free' to meet others.
Thats what disturbs me. I don't understand... I have tried so hard to get him to see it this way, but he always reassures my panics and I wander if I am overthinking a healthy and loving friendship due to my past. Even whilst knowing he has never done this before either.
Expert:  Kristin replied 4 years ago.

Okay, thank you for more details. Wow, you guys really are close and sound very compatible as well. I don't think you are overthinking this....it's not unusual to fall in love with someone with whom you share so much, etc.

 

You didn't answer my question if he had been involved with any other women since being your friend? Is there any possibility that he is gay? And that is why he's not into you romantically? If it's not that, then he is either not attracted to you in that manner, or is really closed off for some reason sexually or afraid of being hurt romantically? Ugh. This is a dilemma. I do think that if it is going to become increasingly difficult for you to be this close to him, without the relatioship turning into a true couple on all levels.

 

You need to decide if you can maintain this friendship, without romantic love. If you can, then I would not bring it up further. If you feel you cannot, as it's too hurtful then I would let him know how this is bothering you and that you are lost as to what to do. Remember he is your best friend and you can tell him this. Ask him point blank if he only sees you as a friend, and if he has ever considered you as a girlfriend. To be honest, I think he will say no, otherwise I can't imagine that he wouldn't have moved into a more romantic relationship with you.

 

So, go ahead and just ask him and tell him you are having trouble with the closeness because you are in love with him. I don't think you need to hide this from him....as he is so close to you. Let me know how it goes....Please click ACCEPT, if satisfied. If not, then please reply with more questions. Thank you!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi .. Yes i will accept your answer thanks... :)
Just to answer your question...
I think the scary thing for me, is not maintaining the friendship without romantic love as much as him meeting someone else.. If / and whilst i stick around as his friend.
I'll rather just vanish than have to deal with, watch him or god forbid advice him on some new girlfriend... But i dont know if this may/will happen.

He has been single for the most part of two years. When we met, he had just gotten out of a relationship, which was pretty bad. In fact, he told me he was extremely low during that period, depressed even, and that he had started (and planned to continue) to just live very freely, parties, sex or whatever... Until he met me.
He has told me this in various forms over the years, but it was when I asked him about me as a 'phase' that he went deeper into explaining that i can't be as he doesn't know if he would be happy if i wasn't in his life... Trust in us (as i mentioned above).

In the first 6 months of our friendship, he went on multiple dates with 3 people, in that year I did too but i was trying to prove i could, and although he knew, he never asked about any details... In fact the sole comment i remember him ever making on a guy I may have mentioned is 'whats so special about him'.

I can't say if he did sleep with people during the period following when I was away for 5 months, but I know since I've been back (almost a year) he has more or less been celibate. Which, hey might be a lie! But again, I don't know when he would have had the time.. I speak to him every night etc

Assuming as i do too, that he will say no.. Is it worth the humilation of asking?
What can I do to protect myself... Scale back, end the friendship? I feel he will want an explanation, and the phase one I've already tried won't work again..

Thanks. x
Expert:  Kristin replied 4 years ago.

Just to be perhaps more clear.... if you are needing to end the friendship because it's too painful for you, then I would scale back and or end it... if he wants to know why, then you can tell him that you are in love with him. And that it's too painful. If you think you can just be his friend, then I would not tell him..and just keep being his friend (only). Another idea could be that (even though you don't feel like it) would be to perhaps go on some dates yourself, and just see how he reacts. That will definitely tell you how he feels...if he doesn't seem jealous or tries to intervene or tell you how he feels, then he definitely just wants you as a close friend. This is not an easy situation. I do feel that you have told him that you are interested in him...and that it's his move at this point.

I wouldn't wait around for him if I were in your shoes... You need to do what feels right for you. I don't think it's humiliating by the way, to let him know your true feelings.

This is a tough one... either accept him as a friend and what you have currently. Tell him your feelings and see what he says. Or start dating and see how he reacts to that.

Please click ACCEPT. Feel free to keep in touch if you need more help. Thanks!

Kristin, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience: Psychotherapist and Relationships Expert with 11+ years exp. Dating, Relationships, Marriage.
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