Can/should/how to become more than friends?

Well, the title really says it all. But first, some background. About 8 months ago, I met a girl, really liked her, told her as much, she tells me she doesn’t want a boyfriend right now, we don’t see much of one another for a month or so. About 6 months ago, I haven’t seen or talked to her in a few weeks, she calls me up and says “a friend and I decided not to go to art class today, so we’re at Starbucks. You want to meet us?” I do and we start spending more time together. Anyhow, now we talk at least once or twice a week, usually see each other every week or so, including going to prom together, which she asked me to “as friends” (she’s a senior in HS, I graduated last year).

That basically brings us up to date, and leaves me in a pickle. I feel more strongly about her than I have anyone else ever. I think about her almost constantly in my unoccupied time; when I’m with her everything feels better, feels right. I don’t know if I’m in love, but as the cliche says, if not, I’ll be in bad shape when it’s the real thing. And we’re friends in her book. Pretty good friends, but friends none the less.

This brings us to the question: should I tell her? On the one hand, she might have similar feelings, and I’d be ecstatic. On the other, it might weird things out, ending the friendship, which would be worse than not saying anything and keeping me in this whacked out state. If I should bring this up, how? Fairly directly, I’d assume, right? And just to add to the situation, in September she’s going across the country for college.

My opinion, based on experience with a similar situation, is that girls like this are trouble. They want a backup, a constant in their life, a guy they can depend on. But they want to be with guys who light their fires. So they keep you around in the background to fill in when they don’t have one of those jerks who treats them like shit. We’ll never understand why they like those jerks, but they do. You’re the anti-jerk, the safe haven she knows will be there when the jerk dumps her. Maybe there is no jerk right now, but she’s looking for one while you’re staring at her wondering what your babies will look like.

You can tell her how you feel, or you can keep it to yourself. It won’t matter. She long ago figured out that you like her. She’ll say “I just want to be friends right now. Maybe someday there will be more.”

You will remain friends for years but someday you’ll give up on her and find someone else. As soon as you tell her that you are in love with this new girl, the first girl tell you how she really feels about you.

Don’t listen to me. I’m bitter because I loved a girl for a decade and she decided to tell me she loved me three months before I married someone else. She thought I would always be there for her. She was wrong. Girls who play with guys like this end up with the jerks they deserve. Find another girl, this one is defective.

Wow, yikes.

I am a woman who wants a man to “light my fire”. Just for the record, there are guys out there who can “light fires” who aren’t jerks.

Wow, project much? That’s a big conclusion to jump to on the basis that she said she wasn’t interested in dating right then, and asking the guy to the prom as friends.

Ender, college can change people a lot. That means even changing, sometimes, who you’re friends with. Most everything good in life involves risk. You might want to consider that, quite possibly, you could lose the friendship even if you don’t tell her how you feel. You could also end up wondering 10 or 20 years down the road what might have happened if you’d said something, and kicking yourself.

Now, she does know you like her. You told her that, and I don’t think she’s foolish enough to think that’s gone. But there’s the possibility that she’s reconsidered and is trying to meet up with you frequently to see if you might make another move. If you think this could be the case - or at least you think you might regret it for years if you don’t say something again - what I’d do then is just tell her during a somewhat private and quiet moment something like, “I just wanted you to know that what I told you months ago is still true, I still think you’re wonderful and someone I’ve really fallen for, and I was wondering if you felt the same.” If you’re cool with just being friends even if she says no, add something like “I won’t get all weird on you if you don’t; I value your friendship the most.”

It’ll still feel awful if she rejects this, but at least you won’t be regretting anything years down the road.

Q: What’s you’re life like with her in it? Are you happy spending time with her? Can you laugh at each other’s jokes? Just asking.
And if she cut you off completely…dropped you out of her life…how would you feel? Do you think you could get over it or is your heart going to say General System Error?

If you say nothing, you’ll spend more time with her. And maybe she’ll come around. If she doesn’t, however, the longer you spend with her, the more devastated you’ll be.

If you tell her, she’ll probably be frightened off…feel that you have one sided emotions, so you must be a stalker/psycho. And your trips to the coffee shop will end. Eventually you’ll get over her and find someone else who likes you for you, but you’ll be gutted like a fish for months until then.

Look, there is no ‘wrong’ answer; there’s no ‘right’ answer either. You’re taking a gamble like every guy takes when they ask a girl out. These are only choices.

Still, before you choose, you need to ask yourself who you are, who you want to end up being, and which choice best represents you as an individual (so that you are true to yourself).

I wish you well, no matter how it turns out.

Everybody plays the fool sometime;
There’s no exception to the rule.
Listen, baby, it may be factual, may be cruel,
I ain’t lying, everybody plays the fool.

Run. Run now, and don’t look back.

There’s a girl like this one in my life, and there either is or has been one in the life of everyone I know.

I’m sure that she has a deep fondness and affection for you, but what she loves is the things that you do for her. You are the perfect date, the instant furniture mover, the shoulder on which she can cry, but it is highly unlikely that you will ever be the back that she claws (metaphorically speaking, of course).

She will tell all her friends about how great you are and what a nice thing you did for her last week. They’ll ask why you’re not together. She’ll say, “Oh, he just doesn’t do it for me.” But she will torpedo any of their efforts to get near you, because then they’ll be playing with her favorite toy. And she’ll date @$$holes and cry to you about them. Why? Because now she has the perfect boyfriend. He just comes in two parts: the bad boy and the nice guy. And here’s the news flash: she wakes up at his place, but eats breakfast at yours.

She’s going off to college? She’s not going to be the same person you remember when she comes back. And that’s a good thing. She has a lot of growing and changing to do, and that growth and change is going to be stimulated by meeting new people and having new experiences. She will be a more complete person because of her college experience, and if that draws her closer to you, so much the better. But if it doesn’t, you can at least be somewhat comforted by the fact that, in the end, she’s not the person you want to be with anymore. Maybe your friendship will be strenghtened by her changes. Besides, if you try to cling to her too tightly, she will resent you for cramping her growth. I know, because, when I was in college, the first girls I hung out with were the ones with boyfriends at home. Because sooner or later, the resentment would kick in, and who better to prove what a wild and crazy girl you are than with your crazy friend Scrappy? Of course, I was younger then, but the point is still valid.

My final advice is this: Don’t push anything on her in these last two months. And stop being her “out.” If you’re breaking plans because she called up for a spur-of-the-moment thing, stop. Treat her like anyone else. If she comes around, she comes around. If not, you’ll be her lapdog for the rest of your life.

My suggestion: whatever you do, don’t hold on to any of your cards. Throw them all on the table. The worst thing you could do would be to play the “what-if” game for the rest of your life.

Stop showing interest.
Become involved with other women.
Stop showing interest.
See how she reacts.
Act like a jerk
She how she reacts.
Continue cycle until she is yours.

I had exceptional luck with “tell me again why we aren’t dating?”

Sometimes the answer is “because I really value your friendship and don’t want to screw it up.” Translation: Cause I don’t want to. You take whatever excuse there is and smile and say, OK. You now know.

But once the answer was “because I didn’t think I was your type.” We’ll be married eight years this weekend.

My advice is to keep it casual. Not “I really really like you.” And certainly not “I love you.” Just a “are you interested in this being anything more than a friends thing.” And not even a big confession that you are interested, asking is enough of an indication.

BTW, from an older girls perspective (I’m 37). Sometimes young girls really don’t want to screw it up with you before they are ready for something serious. They know at 18 or 20 or 23 that they (and maybe you) aren’t ready to settle down. They see you as someone with long term potential that may be realized, but short term, they see someone they’d date for a few months - sometimes you are actually in the “potential husband” bin, but they are only really interested in the “good time” bin right now. I met my hubby when I was seventeen. Had we dated then, or anytime in the next five or seven years, we’d have screwed each other over and left a bloody pulpy mess on the floor. I waited until the potential had been realized and there was a chance for success. Then I made him label all his CDs when he moved in, just in case I’d misjudged. I know a lot of women who ended up marrying guys they knew for years who they liked for years and wouldn’t date until they were ready to get serious.

I guess I have to join in with the bitter contingent. Basically female friends fall in two classes; those who genuinely are not interested and those who are toying with you. The first group is okay; these are the women who think of you as a brother. An easy test is whether they try to help you date other women; if so, then they have no romantic interest in you.

The second group is trouble. These women want the social benefits of having a boyfriend (ie not having to worry about going to the movies alone, someone around to open jars and move furniture, and best of all, having someone she can complain to about the men she’s having sex with) but aren’t interested in a real relationship. The idea is they can have you around whenever they want, but dump you in a minute whenever they see a hot guy because you’re “just a friend”. And as Scrappy pointed out, the last thing they want is for you to get a girlfriend and start excluding them.

isthatsowrong may have put it a bit strongly but don’t discount what he’s saying. It’s more than possible - it has happened to me too.

In my case i eventually cut off contact with her - which was very painful as she was one of my best friends (and one of the few people i was ever completely “myself” around).

I felt exactly about her as you seem to, and she treated me in exactly the same way - best friend and “convenient boyfriend replacement” when needed.

Eventually i realised, however, that i was her back-up and that this wasn’t going to change.

At that point i bit the bullet and told her that i couldn’t do that anymore. I told her that she had been a great friend but i felt like i’d become her backup boyfriend and i couldn’t be that guy.

I gave her the opportunity to deny it, but she couldn’t.

So after that i pretty much cut off contact. Which still ranks as one of the worst, most painful things i have ever had to do.

We are still friends - there is no bad blood between us and we often bump into each other at parties and stuff and chat. Every now and again she’ll ring me up and invite me out, but generally i decline unless its a “group” thing with lots of people going etc.

Its still painful - everytime she talks to me or invites me somewhere i just want to say “YES!” and part of me thinks “Maybe she is interested!” but i know that its not the case - that what she is after is what we had before, and i’m not prepared to do that.

My gut feeling - shitty as it sounds - is that you are probably in the same situation.

The trouble is that you hear stories about people being in those situations - being “used” like that, and you think “nah, she’s not doing that to me! She’s a nice girl and thats something evil girls do!”

It took me a while to realise that the nice ones do it too. Hell, the girl in my case was undoubtably one of the nice ones. She still ranks as possibly the most amazing girl i have ever met. The trouble is that they can end up doing it without realising it, almost to the point where it just becomes natural and they don’t see what they are doing. :rolleyes:

Anyway, thats my two pence worth.

My advice (for what its worth) is this:

Tell her how you feel.

It may end well (she may leap into your arms) but chances are it won’t - she’ll feed you the “can we just be friends” line at which point i’m with Happy Scrappy Pup - Walk away.

Just don’t do what i did and spend years stuck in the “maybe she loves me/maybe one day she’ll love me” stage because its not worth it when the bitter truth is that she doesn’t she just likes having a reserve.

Life’s to short.

God i need a drink now. :wink:

I’m not saying that women who like guys around as backups don’t exist. However, I think it’s hard to tell if she’s one from what little we’ve been told. I do agree, lay the cards out on the table and tell her. Then if she says “I’m not interested, I want to be friends”, by the end of summer you won’t be seeing her in-person anyway. Don’t do date-type stuff with her if this happens, either.

I disagree. We have likely been told everything we need to know. Sometimes love begins slowly, people get to know each other over an extended period and grow on each other. Most times, however, there is an instant attraction and infatuation. And if that does not happen right away, it seldom develops over time.

This girl does not feel that fire for Ender_Will. The odds that she will come around are slim. He’s great, he’s (possibly) goodlooking, he’s nice to his mom, he feeds small animals; she already knows all of this and she just wants to be friends. Nobody doesn’t want a relationship right now. They just want a relationship with someone else, not you.

Yes, I’m projecting, but this shit happens all the time, as half of the responses in this thread indicate. I would bet money that this girl is one of the bad ones. I’ll pay for Ender_Will’s wedding to her if I’m wrong. He has to pay for the inevitable divorce.

Why don’t you just give her a kiss when the moment is right & see how she reacts?

I think ALL women can do it - consciously or unconsciously


I think ALL men can do it too

I think its definitely an equal opportunities thing. :smiley:

I think we all want to believe in situations where we become best friends then fall in love etc. etc. but it’s very, very rare that it happens that way.

Amen to that one! And just to confuse you some more…

As as the girl who is always just “one of the guys”, I’ve found myself in this situation a few times (on both the liking and just friends side).

The “just be friends” approach can work:
I have a friend who still swears to this day that I’m the only person he’d cheat on his wife with. The infatuation has become a running joke with everyone that knows us. Mainly because nothing will ever become of it.

The “just be friends” approach can fail:
I had a friend in college that followed me here because he thought I would eventually give in. He kept getting more and more pushy until I finally started avoiding him. He was a good friend, but it just wasn’t enough for him. I respect and understand that.

The “let’s give it a shot” approach can explode violently:
I was friends with guy for a couple of years (late high school, early college). He finally told me how I felt and we gave it a shot. I spent 2 of the 3 months trying to figure out how to end it and save the friendship. We were kind of friends for a while, but then he took a downward spiral. Last I heard he lost his job, got a 15 year-old pregnant, and was living with her parents. I think I made the right choice on that one, but I still feel very guilty when I think about it. I should have kept is as just friends… ahh, the yound an naive me. This event caused me to swear off dating friends for several years.

The “let’s give it a shot” approach can work wonderfully:
A group of us at work started hanging out socially. One of the guys and I got along really well. He was the only other person that would go to same type of concerts that I did. For 2 years we hung out as friends in and out of the group. I had a huge crush on this guy, but wouldn’t say anything or try anything because we worked together (I won’t date a co-worker). So after I changed jobs we started hanging out more and more. I drove myself nuts trying to read into words and actions (it’s tough going from “one the guys” to “the girl”). We eventually figured things out. That was two years ago. We’ve been friends for 4 years and seriously dating for 2. We’ve already bought tickets for a trip in September, so we’ll at least make it 2 and a half years.

And there’s hope for you nice guys. I can honestly say I’ve never gone for the badboy thing (I may be the exception… I know I was the exception in high school). Yeah, there was the one guy that turned into a raging psycho afterwords… but even he treated me like a queen when we dating (too much actually, I don’t like to be spoiled… the fall from the pedestal is too far).

I hope it works out well for you.

If you were thinking that way when you were 17, you were far more mature and thoughtful than the average 17 year old girl. I don’t think most people are so analytical about love and lust – at any age.

Now that’s an approach I hadn’t considered. Tell her she loves you. Some of that Obi-wan Kenobi shit. That will work!

From recent, personal experience, I agree with “run fast and run far.” I didn’t, and was lead on for a year until she found the wonderful person.:smack: Now I’m running.

To put it in sports terms, you’re probably going to wind up being the solid, reliable backup that stays for 20 years while big name stars come and go. Could it work out? Yea. Will it? Probably not. Her friends and family will all be saying “Why don’t you go out with him?! He’s so nice and he loves puppies!” And she’ll just sigh and say “But there’s no…spark.”