Dear Love Guru,
I’ve been stuck in a rut for the longest time now. I like one of my guy friends (whom I’ve known practically my whole life). Whenever he jumps into a relationship I do my utmost to support his happiness, I genuinely do, and it feels like I’m getting over him. However, when he breaks up, I’m the one helping him go through it, and needless to say, old feelings come crumbling back. I’m always honest with him (aside from my feelings towards him). I honestly do not know if I still like him or not. I got tired of comparing him to every guy I attempt to like. My friends are sure I still have feelings for him. However, he’s the only guy I’ve ever liked, and I don’t know how it feels to like someone anymore as I got so accustomed to liking him. I don’t know how to ‘move on’. My friend says we’re in the same boat. He’s given signs, messed with my head, but I doubt it. I don’t want to lose him, yet I don’t know how to get out of this situation.
It seems that you are an honest and selfless person who genuinely cares for this person whom you’d like to be more than a friend. The questions is, might there be a chance he feels the same way, and if not, how will you move on?
If he is giving you mixed signals, unless he really is in the same situation as you are, watch out! You don’t want to be taken for granted by always being on stand-by, not only for that reason alone, but also because you’d be sabotaging any chance of a relationship, both with him or someone else.
You say you’re feeling stuck in a rut which is where you’ll stay unless you take a decision and carry it through. Sometimes we tend to stick to what is familiar to avoid getting hurt rather than open up to new people and experiences – especially sensitive people, who feel deeply or who have already experienced a certain amount of rejection. But rejection, looking silly, feeling embarrassed, etc is a part of life that you’ll learn from.
If you don’t take risks you’ll never know. Sure, you might not get hurt but you will not experience positive emotions either and – as you’re saying – you’ll remain stuck where you are. (It’s a bit like the excuse they use for captive wild animals, no?)
If you are reluctant to have a direct conversation with him, is it possible for a mutual friend to try to subtly find out? If he returns your feelings congrats! But if it turns out that he will only ever see you as a friend, moving on will probably be easier if you knew it for certain. And when you say you don’t want to lose him, do you mean you don’t want to give up on your wishes or expectations of him? Because otherwise – you won’t be losing anything, rather by moving on you’d be gaining a partner who can be more than a friend.
By comparing new guys to your friend you’d be nipping any potential relationship in the bud. You will never find out or allow yourself to be surprised by the admirable qualities in other guys – maybe that haven’t even crossed your mind! Whatever you do, don’t put up bars around yourself – hopefully you’ll be enticed to tap into your adventurous streak…