Still Friends?

Hi Chuck and Garland,

First off, very informative and helpful blog. I appreciate that you both are out there and giving women the cold hard truth.

So here is my dilemma. I have a good friend and we are both attracted to each other. A few months ago we acted on this attraction- we didn't have sex- but we acted on it. A week or so afterward, he told me that he wasn't ready for a commitment and we both decided that neither one of us wanted to jeopardize our friendship. The problem is that now I realize that I do have feelings for him. I can't help or control my emotions. Seeing him only makes me realize that more and, by the looks of things he's still not ready for a serious relationship.

My question is, should I spill the beans and tell him how I feel. That way it would get everything out in the open and off my chest. I'd be able to move on if need be. But it would also put me in a vulnerable postion and give him all of the power in the relationship dynamic. The other option I am contemplating is to say nothing, but show him through my personality, character, actions etc. that I am the best woman for him and that I can fulfill his needs. This way I could save some face and keep my relationship options open.

Our friendship is still very important to me and I don't want to ruin that. So what do you think I should do? Please let me know if you can help me or if you decide to use my question for your blog. If you've a addressed a similar issue on your blog already please provide a link to your response.

Thanks in advance!


GARLAND: Thanks for sharing your situation and giving us such a great compliment.

If this guy is giving you a vibe that he's not ready for a relationship - then TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. He's NOT ready and trying to convince him otherwise is 9 times out of 10 going to leave you emotionally beaten up and drained.

Men - WE know when we're ready to make that relationship commitment, and he has done a pretty honorable thing by telling you, "Hey, I'm not ready for a commitment, lets just stay friends." A LOT of other guys would have used that opportunity to get you between the sheets. And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't run off thinking that because he didn't want to hurt your feelings that time, that he must deep down want to care for you. He likes your friendship and thats pretty much it.

Sure, telling him that you're feelin' him would get things off of your chest - but like you said, HE would have any upper hand in the dealings the two of you have. Take my word - don't worry about telling him how you feel, or showing him how wonderful you are, or proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could fulfill his needs. Chill out and seek that guy that will FULFILL all of YOUR NEEDS! He told you where he stands, so take that at face value and keep looking out for YOU!

Best wishes out there!!!

CHUCK: Thank you for the question. I would say that it's probably a good idea to not profess your affection to this man, but I'm not 100% sure. In other instances, my advice is usually to communicate to the other person, and let them know how you feel. Your friend has communicated to you first, though, that he isn't ready for a relationship with you. That seems to cut off the idea of further communication on that issue. But maybe not.

I don't know if I believe in things like the "upper hand" in a relationship. If you think in those terms, how can you ever let yourself open up truly to another person. Don't get me wrong, I'm aware of a need to protect yourself from all the predators out there who will try to use you. But you have to acknowledge that there will be a time, and a person, for whom you can let your emotional guard down. It isn't Art of War all the time, ladies.

I believe that for now your best bet may be to do what you yourself suggested, and subtly let your friend know how you're feeling, while keeping your other options open. There's an attraction there, all that's missing is the willingness to act on it. If, say, after three months, he hasn't changed his mind, let it go. Some people are just meant to be friends.

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