“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
You are stuck “between a rock and a hard place” if you are dating someone who just wants to be friends and you want more!
This type of relationship can change but it takes a lot of work and a lot of determination, but if you feel the relationship could be more intimate, here are some things you can do.
1. Stop being available at his beckoned call.
You have a life and you need to live it on your terms. So, step out of your comfort zone and do things with your girlfriends. This would open your options to meeting a great guy and also create a new pattern between you two. You are broadening your social network.
If he sees you are willing to “get out there” again, he may get more interested in you or at least understand that you appreciate the friendship, but a true partnership is what you are looking for.
2. You may have to have “the talk.”
Let him know that your friendship is taking too much physical and emotional time and that you are ready for a change. You’re not getting any younger and have to focus on your future goals, namely a steady boyfriend and committed relationship. Will he miss what you had? Will he notice you’re not around as much? Both are yet to be seen.
3. Then set boundaries with him.
Limit the amount of time you see him. Stop having those intimate talks or sharing your personal life with him. Avoid doing things for him, but instead, ask him for favors. See if that changes the impact of the relationship. See if he realizes what he is losing. You want to break off the enmeshed relationship you’ve had so far and establish new guidelines – rules that would benefit your needs, wants and desires.
The feeling of unreturned affection is frustrating and makes your situation feel hopeless.
Unless you decide to change what you are experiencing, things will stay the same and you don’t want that, nor do you deserve that.
Realize, you may lose him completely, but if that’s what it takes to move you along, maybe it’s for the best.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
I don’t want to have to be the one to say it, but I’ll just rip the bandaid off.
Guys don’t ever just want to be friends. If a guy is saying that to you, he is simply not interested in anything more. Ever.
And this is coming from my husband, who I told I wanted to just be friends for about five years before we actually started dating.
He told me that he was interested in me the moment we met, but I just saw him as a friend. He told me that he kept my number, would check in every six months or so, to “see how single” I happened to be, and then finally, once I decided to stop dating assholes, I gave this man a try, and 4 years and one baby later, we are living happily ever after.
But the way my husband explained it to me:
Guys don’t have friendships with girls; either they’re currently dating/having sex with you, or they’re actively pursuing just that. And if they are not interested in the dating aspect and you guys have not yet had sex, he is trying to get you into bed.
I have always very strongly held the belief that guys and girls cannot be platonic friends. There is always one or the other interested in something more, and so often it is the gal looking for more. Only to get her heart broken or her expectations unfulfilled.
My advice to you, dear reader, is to give it perhaps six months, but no more.
See what the friendship feels like to you. See how he behaves around you.
- Does he call/text you out of the blue?
- Does he ask you about your day, your hopes and dreams for the future?
- Most important question to keep in mind: is he dating other people?
If this is the case, it’s pretty clear that he is not interested in you, or not ready for you at this point.
Which is why I suggest giving him six months.
Check in periodically to gauge where he stands (I would recommend asking him questions you would like him to be asking you, such as “Where do you see us in five years” and “what would your ideal relationship be” ?) But be cautious as well.
Because actions will always speak louder than words. He might talk a good talk, especially if he knows how you want him to answer certain questions, in order to keep you around as a friend.
Consistency is so important as well.
- Does he consistently ask you to spend time with him?
- Does he consistently show up when you invite him out?
- Does he help you out when you need him (stuck somewhere with a flat tire, a ride to the airport, help moving).
These are all signs there could be something there more than friends. So give it those six months, with the periodic check ins, and see what happens.
But the worst possible feeling is investing so much time and energy into a guy who will never reciprocate feeling, and there you are left in the dust. To lighten the potential impact of this, it might be smart to date around, see who else might be out there, interested in the amazing person YOU are.
Stephanie Weinblatt, MA, LCPC – www.healthylivingcounselingcenter.com
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Timing is everything”; well, maybe not everything but its way more central to the success of a relationship than people realize.
While chemistry is really important, it’s a relational dynamic dependent on the emotional state of each of the two individuals involved. You really can’t create chemistry alone. If one person isn’t ready for a relationship, he or she won’t generate the spark necessary to ignite the process.
If the guy you are dating says he wants to take the relationship down a notch “for now” it probably means that:
- A- he wasn’t that interested to begin with;
- B- something outside of your control has happened in his life (loss of a job?), or
- C- he realizes that he just isn’t ready for the commitment of a romantic relationship.
The “for now” is a pretty vague statement of intent. I don’t think I’d even pay attention to it; it could easily signify an attempt to just let you down easy. In any event it doesn’t have enough meaning to give you any insight into what’s actually going on with him.
Any of these scenarios are of course very disappointing for you, but I don’t think there’s really anything you can do about it.
I suppose you could try dating as friends to see if things change for him. If his setback is temporary, he might get past it and come around to wanting more. It does give you a chance to experience being around him without the pressure of a more intense relationship.
You can try to talk to him to see if you can get more clarity.
Reassuring him that you’d rather get the truth than avoid being hurt might help him to open up.
However, it’s really up to you to look at your own relationship needs and be honest with yourself.
Is this a good time in your life to wait and see? Or are you in a place where you are really ready to find a committed relationship with possibilities for a future?
If the answer to the second question is yes, I’d get out now. I don’t see much payoff to you in treading water while he sorts himself out. Use your energy to find a man who’s ready for love.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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