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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Im a 58-year-old single man and my best friend/buddy is 60.

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I'm a 58-year-old single man and my best friend/buddy is 60. She recently moved in to my place because of her personal problem. We've known each other for over a year and we're very close. Both come from completely different life styles and she had wonderful,XXXXX XXXXXfe through 2 previous marriages. We do just about everything together except sex. She always says to me she loves me as a friend but I know she treats me more than just a friend. I mentioned that to her before and she knows it. I have a feeling for her though this feeling is not intense at all. We had a good talk about our unique and deep friendship recently. She clearly said that she loves me and cares about me as a friend but I could not be her significant other. She had a high standard for her significant other. However,she thinks that I'm a diamond in the rough and all I need is someone to polish it so that I could be a shinning diamond. I think she wants me to elevate myself to her level and certainly I can use her( she also urged me to do) to learn some quality things from her. I told her that most men in my age would never bother to do it and that they would not want to change themselves and that I'm just an ordinary guy. She strongly disagreed that if I were just an ordinary man, she wouldn't be with me even for her friend. She believes that I have some good qualities in me that most men today don't have. So I have a few problems here. If I want to date someone and if she finds out that I have a live-in female friend she will most likely to say ,"No Thankyou!" So I think I need to keep a little distance from her because I don't want get attached to her. I did that before and she noticed it and she didn't like it. Right now she's out of town and when she called me she said," I miss you a lot!" ..." I don't know what I would do without you." I know her well so she didn't lie about her feelings. But I'm just her good friend. I guess only time will tell how this relationship evolve? By the way she's coming to my family's Thanksgiving dinner.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your friend is the one setting all of the parameters of your relationship without much if any input from you. It seems like she is the one dictating what she feels needs to happen and that includes treating you like a partner but still keeping you at a distance.

What you might want to do is to decide what you want from this relationship. Do you feel you want to stay friends? If so, what does that look like to you? (writing your thoughts down can help a lot) Do you feel friends are ok loving each other and changing each other? It is fine if you do, but you need to know what you feel is acceptable and comfortable to you, not just to her.

Once you know what you want out of your relationship with her, then talk to her about it. So for example if you feel that you want more than just a friendship, let her know. But if you are ok with just a friendship, then tell her what you feel you want your relationship to be like. For example, would you feel better having her move out so you can keep some distance? Or do you feel better having her there with you?

Also, decide what you want out of your own life. Your friend suggests changing you because you are a "diamond in the rough". But do you agree? Do you feel you want to change according to what she wants you do be? Again, it is fine if you do or if you don't. What is important here is that you feel you are in charge of your life and that you are getting what you need from this relationship.

If you can work through answering these questions and you can develop an idea of what you need to make this relationship work, then it can make it easier to know what the boundaries are and what works for you both, rather than just one of you.

I hope this has helped you,
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