Is it normal to occasionally like a close friend romantically?
November 12, 2012 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Is it normal to occasionally like a close friend romantically?

I have a guy friend that I'm really close with. We hang out a lot with this other girl friend that I have and we do a lot of things together.

I go through phases where I might like him more than a friend. I say 'might' because I often feel confused after we hang out or I get weird dreams where we are together romantically. I think this is partially his doing because he's very touchy with me and not others. I'm not touchy with anyone and generally, I only touch (hug, nudge) people that I am very, very close with which means that I might be projecting my feelings on touch onto his actions - if that makes sense.

I have no interest in pursuing this. I don't think it's worth it. He has a long-distance girlfriend that he doesn't like to talk about (which is something I do not want to get in the middle of) and he's not really my type any way. Furthermore, a year ago, he was like this with the other girl friend that we hang out with, and she actually confessed to me that she liked him a lot but he didn't seem like he was ready to leave his girlfriend which prevented her from acting on it. I think he's generally just very flirty, lonely and looking for someone to substitute his girlfriend. My common sense tells me to stay out of that can of worms. He has a girlfriend and one of my best friends in the world possibly still has feelings for him so I'm definitely not touching that.

But I want to stay friends with him. He is a great friend and we get along great. I think he's playing the two of us (my friend and I) but not on purpose, so how do I deal with this? Also is it normal to occasionally have romantic feelings for a friend? Does it pass? How do you know if it's real?
posted by cyml to Human Relations (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
It is okay to have emotions. It is okay to occasionally have weird, confusing and possibly inappropriate emotions. It is certainly okay -- suggested, in fact -- to not act on confusing emotions which would make things unbearably complicated for everyone involved. You're totally right in that you need to not get involved in his state of affairs.

If he's generally an okay guy who isn't creepy or gross then, yeah, he's probably just lonely and being a bit inappropriate about it. You can absolutely ask him to tone it down with the flirting with you, and if he's a good friend, he will. And that will definitely help you not have feelings for him. Maybe they'll go away. Maybe they won't. No one can predict these things, but gambling on "I won't feel like this forever" is the smart move when attracted to someone you shouldn't be. Even if you're wrong, the actions you take assuming that you're right will keep you out of trouble.

Right now you've got a barrel and a bunch of loose gunpowder everywhere. Don't fill the barrel (and don't let anyone else fill the barrel) and you don't have a powderkeg.
posted by griphus at 2:15 PM on November 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, this is normal... at least for me.

It's real when time passes and you still feel the same way.

Choose whether you want to be honest or not... sometimes it's not going to go so well... sometimes it will go better than you could ever have imagined... practice, communicate and be open.
posted by anthroprose at 2:16 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, it is normal to occasionally have romantic feelings for a friend - or, rather, to occasionally feel attracted to a friend. Sometimes you just got chemistry, you know? But you also know intellectually whether it would be a good or bad idea to ACT on it, and you've decided that, for you, it wouldn't be a good idea (I agree), and so that's that.

It's hard to say whether the way he's acting is aggravating something in you, or causing it, but it definitely seems to be confusing you a little - so I would have a gentle chat with him that while you get that his flirtiness is just the way he is, maybe he could dial it back just a teeny bit because sometimes it makes you a little uneasy and makes you feel like you're not sure where his own head's at. The best outcome, though, is if the two of you end up having a kind of "so wait, where are each of our heads at?" talk where he explains why he's a little touchy-feely, and you explain how that comes across to you, and you come up with a way to make you both happy (he can express his friendliness without making you second-guess what's going on) and you're even closer as friends. That rocks when that happens.

(I got a male friend where we occasionally have this conversation; trust me when I say that the "figuring out how we both tick" conversations rock.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:20 PM on November 12, 2012


I don't think it's an on/off switch between friendship/romance and I actually get annoyed when people treat it like such. There's not some huge border -- it's more of a continuum and sometimes you move closer to one end than the other but I don't feel like there's an absolute dividing line. So yes, normal.

I think it's OK to bring it up and talk to him about it. He could just be flirty -- that's the way he shows affection to friends -- or maybe he wants more than that. But I think when most people are adults, they can draw the lines between what's appropriate and what's not and what people are comfortable with. You can love him as a friend and have a close relationship and not have it be specifically romantic.
posted by darksong at 5:39 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


100% normal. fade in, fade out.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:49 PM on November 13, 2012


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