I am a single male who, until recently, talked almost daily with a female friend. She moved, and now I initiate all calls. She admits that she is not busy. Although I do find her attractive, I respect that she has a boyfriend. I don’t know much about him because she rarely mentions him. I am fine with being friends, though I admit that if she became single, I would rethink that stance. I do think one of the reasons for our friendship is a mutual—that’s mutual—physical attraction. We have never discussed this, but she gives signs (not mentioning her boyfriend is a hint). Maybe the time apart has given her deeper romantic feelings for me, but she is playing hard to get? Is she tired of the friendship? What are the reasons for her phone behavior?
First, tell me why you would continue a relationship that does not contain reciprocity. Oh wait, you did. You can’t let go because she’s attractive, and you think she’s secretly hot for you. Hmm. I think you’re waiting for her to say three little words to you: “We broke up.” She may have kept you on standby while she determined whether her boyfriend was the one to commit to, but she’s made her decision. Now you have an attachment to her, but I wouldn’t call it a friendship. It’s too burdened by the angst of unrequited infatuation (or lust). I know you insist the physical attraction is mutual. It’s possible this belief inspires you to read hints of her interest into everything. If the attraction is valid and if you’re really such good friends, why haven’t either of you talked about this supposedly intense desire? Because, by avoiding that conversation, you can retain your fantasy that she is quietly pining for you.
True friends address issues directly and grow together from the experience. Of course, mutual physical attraction is not a solid foundation for friendship. It’s among the possible reasons to date someone, following after: shared values, respect for each other’s belief systems, similar interests and strong communication (including conflict-resolution) skills. However, she is not available for dating. Are you? I think it’s time to hang up your obsession and focus your attention on women who are available. Practice the respect you say you have for her committed relationship and move on.
I’m a faithful reader who thinks that some of the people who write to you would be greatly helped by the 12-step program Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, instead of Al-Anon (which you often refer people to).
Thank you! I believe that Al-Anon, a 12-step program for people in a relationship with an addict, is a gentle starting place for those new to recovery. I trust it offers guidance and referrals to other programs.
Thanks for the gratitude list. My boyfriend and I have been jotting down why we are thankful for the other and e-mailing each other a month-long list of thanks. I liked the one you included about cars waiting behind the crosswalk for pedestrians! Amen! There’s nothing more irritating than drivers who inch up toward pedestrians. I usually just knock on the hood of the car and say, “Hey, it would be nice to be noticed!”
Good job! Over the holiday, I thought of another. I am grateful for sport-utility-vehicle drivers who get Class A or B licenses so they can actually drive and park their vehicles!