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Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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I have a friend. We both go to medical school together. He

Resolved Question:

I have a friend. We both go to medical school together. He has helped me go through thick and thin. He helped me sorting through a fickle relationship between me and my now ex boyfriend. I've known for a while that I had more than just feelings of friendship towards him but I was always afraid to pursue them. I also wanted to give my then BF another chance (which did not work in the end). The friend withdrew from my life completely when I decided to be with my now Ex and he also pursued a relationship with another lady. I'm currently single, going through Board exam study mode and rotations. The friend recently moved to another location for his medical rotations (2-3 hours away from our main campus). Before he left he and I spent time together catching up. It's as if we never stopped being friends. We even kissed but I stopped it before it went any further since I wanted to sort things out with my Ex, and I wanted a proper dating relationship with this friend and more than just a one night stand for which I'll regret. Before he left for his rotations, I told him how I felt about him. He said that even though he clearly has feelings for me that would be more than just sentiments of a friend, he is infatuated with the girl he's currently trying to be with. The girl is currently on a fishing boat in Alaska, and she's scheduled to return at the end of August. Until then she (as per my friend's account) been on fence and won't give him a straight answer about where Their relationship stands. He doesn't even know if she feels the same as he does for her. Needless to say, I withdrew my friendship and told him that I cannot be his friend since clearly I want more than that and I won't be that good friend, who hears about how he's pining for another. I told him that if he wants friendship with me or anything else, he'll have to reach out. What shall I do? I miss him terribly. Neither distance nor time have been great at healing or helping me forget about him or what he means to me. Although I refuse to be the other woman, or to stand in line for him, I can't help but miss him. I want to do more but I don't know what. I don't want to lose him, but I know I can't be his friend.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

I can imagine the kind of emotional turmoil you are experiencing.

Dr. L :

You have wisely established boundaries for yourself, yet these same boundaries come at an emotional cost.

Dr. L :

From my vantage point, I encourage you to be steadfast in the boundary you have set regarding being unwilling to be his "friend" while he pines for this other lady. You are correct in your assertion that you could not be sympathetic or supportive to him. I am impressed by your own understanding of your values and morals here in saying No to taking this position.

Dr. L :

I do think you were absolutely right in throwing the ball back to his side of the court and announcing that he must reach out to you. It would do you little good to chase after him knowing how he wants to wait for this lady to return from Alaska. The likely outcome if you had pursued him would have been hurt feelings. And....if his heart is connected to her...he would not be emotionally "free" to really explore a relationship with you...as you already suggested what you may have experienced was superficial romance and nothing more.

Dr. L :

It is far better for you to allow him to exhaust his pursuit of the other lady and let it take its course...

Dr. L :

So...what to do about your current feelings of loneliness and missing and wanting to be in a love relationship with him.

Dr. L :

There is nothing stopping you from sending a card, email, or text...every so often just to keep the lines of communication open and to indicate that you are still "out there" wanting to be part of his life.

Dr. L :

Surely there are many professional and personal topics to write about and to invite his comment on. Saying, I miss you, is certainly appropriate for many reasons - especially to keep honesty flowing between you.

Dr. L :

I don't think "forgetting about him" ought to be your aim. Rather...I suggest that the aim ought to be how to keep communicating with him in a way that is about reality not fantasy and is about the here and now rather than the future.

Dr. L :

I see that you are offline right now. When you come online I will be notified. We can chat then.

Dr. L :

I await your response.

JACUSTOMER-i7gnq2sq- :

Thanks

JACUSTOMER-i7gnq2sq- :

I'm sorry I had to leave for a while

JACUSTOMER-i7gnq2sq- :

I agree with you, and I'll be patient and let him contact me.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

Thanks for responding.

Dr. L :

If you should ever want to chat again, just ask for me by name and I will be notified.

Dr. L :

Yes..patience in this case is likely best. But I also want you to feel free to drop him a "friendship" card...just to say you are thinking about him...hoping his rotation goes well...that sort of friendly banter. Keeping the door open sayings that you are not angry with him, that you do want to communicate, that you do care about his life....

Dr. L :

And the fact is that you do care! And you are hopeful that someday soon you can resume a relationship with him.

Dr. L :

Thanks again for responding.

Dr. L :

I wish you well...

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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