Can't be just friends.
April 7, 2009 8:52 AM   Subscribe

I'm falling for my friend but she doesn't see me in that way.

I met a girl last summer and we really hit it off. We hooked up a few times and then she told me that she didn't want to be in a relationship with me but wanted to be "best friends". I told her I would try, then I couldn't do it and we didn't see or talk to each other for about 8 months. That time off from each other was really hard on both of us.

Then we ran into each other at a bar earlier this year and we hit it off again, better than we had the first time. We ended up hooking up again for a few weeks until she told me that she didn't want to anymore and that she just wanted friendship. I was/am extremely broken up about this still, we didn't talk for about a week and then I just had to see her again. We have been hanging out about 3 to 4 times a week as friends since then (that was about two months ago). I thought I was doing well and I thought that maybe I could just hang out, but I'm just crazy about this girl and I don't think I can be just friends with her. I also don't want to cut her out of my life again, and I know that would be hard on her too.

Do I bring it up again hoping there is still a chance? Do I bring it up and tell her I can't put myself through this? Do I just do nothing and try harder to just be friends and find someone else? One thing that really gets to me is that I'm not good enough for her. I just can't reconcile how well we get along and that she liked me enough to hook up for a little while but then she just doesn't want to. I just lack something that she needs and I can't do anything about it... it really hurts so much. It's also really distracting me and sometimes it is all I think about. What should I do?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Let her go. You're in love with someone who, whether intentionally or not, is stringing you along. If I were you, I'd tell her you can't put yourself through this and then leave her to be "best friends" with some other person she can't make up her mind about.
posted by katillathehun at 8:57 AM on April 7, 2009 [4 favorites]

Just go live your life. Great relationships don't start with a struggle. Maybe next time you run into her at a bar she'll be in a better spot.
posted by jon_kill at 8:57 AM on April 7, 2009 [4 favorites]

Have nothing to do with her, you'll be happier for it. It won't be easy because you know you can hang out with her if you want to, but it will be the best way to be miserable for the shortest period.
posted by biffa at 8:58 AM on April 7, 2009

One thing that really gets to me is that I'm not good enough for her. I just can't reconcile how well we get along and that she liked me enough to hook up for a little while but then she just doesn't want to.

Nah, it's really not about you. Plus everything jon_kill said.
posted by salvia at 9:00 AM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

She's stringing you along for motives I don't know but which don't matter anyway. It would be better for you to be dating other people before you can be her "best friend." You definitely need some time apart for you to get over the idea of her as a permanent fixture in your life.

Questions to ponder: Why are you putting yourself through this? Do you have some deep-seated insecurities? Do you really think that you can be happy with someone who doesn't see you the way you see her?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:06 AM on April 7, 2009

Heartache lies this way. And wasted time. My advice: run, fast and far, and find another girl who has no doubts about adoring you. Trust me, there's one out there.
posted by teamparka at 9:11 AM on April 7, 2009

I've been almost exactly where you are now. It sucks. It hurts. But you have to let her go, and move on.
posted by wandering steve at 9:28 AM on April 7, 2009

she's getting what she wants out of it, and you are not. Tell her you want a relationship or you cannot deal with seeing her on a regular basis. if she says no, tell her to look you up if she changes her mind.
posted by nameless.k at 9:40 AM on April 7, 2009

I'm pretty much in a similar situation at this very moment. Only, I decided just the other day, actually, to severe ties with that person.

Really, life's too short and your time too valuable to chase after for very long someone who doesn't want to be with you the way you want to be with them. It sucks now and I'm sad about it, but I know that in time I will be much happier.
posted by blithecatpie at 10:02 AM on April 7, 2009

I am generally in accordance with Nicole Georges philosophy on unrequited love. If she was meant to be your girlfriend, when you asked her to be your girlfriend, she would have said "hell yes!" If she was relationship material, she would want to be in a relationship with you. Believe me, somewhere there's a girl who'll light up like a christmas bulb whenever she sees you, and want to "hook up" all the time, and won't string you along, and will be overjoyed to be more than your best friends.

Also, don't worry that you're lacking something she needs. She's lacking something you need; a willingness to commit and return romantic feelings. As big as your crush on her is, she's not the right girl for you.

"If he was the dude for you he would have actually jumped on your request to date, not strung you along and pushed your boundaries."

"You need to know that if she wanted to be with you, she would. As much as you love this woman, the truth of the matter is that your soul mate, the person you're actually supposed to be with, wouldn't treat you this way. They would CHOOSE YOU. There wouldn't be all this yearning and longing and feeling so torn and confused and sad. The longer you dwell on this lady, the further away you are from achieving your future greatness."
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:03 AM on April 7, 2009 [10 favorites]

One thing that really gets to me is that I'm not good enough for her.

dude, your love is too good for her based on the way that she is playing mind games with you. you can stay for the sex with her if you want since that is at least something she actually wants from you.

there will be someone else who truly wants and deserves your love, passion, and your whole life. that new girl will deserve your love and give you even more mind-blowing sex. of course, waiting for the right one seems like forever, and might take a little luck for it to happen and for you to realize that she is the right one.
posted by the aloha at 10:17 AM on April 7, 2009

I just can't reconcile how well we get along and that she liked me enough to hook up for a little while but then she just doesn't want to.

The person you are dealing with is either malicious or ignorant. You've clearly expressed your feelings, and she decided to sleep with you again afterwards.

I've been in this place before, and by far the best thing to do for yourself is to get as far away from her as fast as possible. If you stick around, you're not going to be able to get out of the headspace you're in, and she's not going to help you.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:22 AM on April 7, 2009

I'm sorry you're in this situation, it's such a painful, ugly place to be. I've had it happen to me several times in the past (and actually am kind of going through something similar now, albeit less intense than what yours sounds like), and I just have to say that the advice everyone above me has suggested is spot-on. It's so hard to stay in close, constant contact with someone you want to be in a relationship with when they don't want that - those feelings you're having cannot be fulfilled, and yet they will continue to be fed and will therefore endure as long as you're near her. No matter how much you tell yourself you're just going to make yourself enjoy the friendship and try to forget about your longing for more, it is so very hard to do that when you're constantly hanging out with her, enjoying her company and seeing her enjoy yours, feeling so close to someone you want and asking that unanswerable question as to just why she doesn't feel the same way ... it's just not a healthy, tenable position.

For what it's worth, though, distancing yourself from her now might save your friendship with in the long run - at least, that's been the case with me in the past. I could never truly be "just a friend" to my crushes when we were constantly entwined in each others' lives and I was constantly wishing we could be more to each other, and of course that inevitably had a negative impact on the quality of our friendship as it wasn't something I could hide all the time ... once I HAD to gain a little distance, though (in my case, because I was moving away), and once I had let enough time pass by and had opened my life up to new people and experiences I actually was able to reestablish contact with my former 'crush' and (to my surprise) found that my desire for them had diminished to the point where I actually could enjoy our friendship again without feeling the pain of what would never be.

It's not an easy thing to do, but distancing yourself from this person now is likely to cause you far less pain in the long run - don't let yourself be drained away by inches because of a longing you're probably not going to be able to cure until you get away from its cause. Good luck to you.
posted by DingoMutt at 10:30 AM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

One of my closest friends is this girl. She'll date a dude for a bit, decide she just wants to be friends, and then the guys just moon over her. They'll get together regularly for dinners, go to movies together, blah blah blah. The only thing that differentiates it from a date is the lack of kissing. But then again, she might get drunk and kiss them on occasion, throwing them for yet another big ol' loop. And this has nothing to do with the guys, much like your chick's issues aren't about you -- these guys are, to a number, really cool, interesting, intelligent, engaged and kind men. She just isn't capable of being romantically entangled with anyone for more than about 3 weeks, because without the new relationship energy she is bored.

The thing is, she truly believes that the guys understand what page she's on, and has herself convinced that she's not stringing them along. Currently she's doing this with two different guys. She's a lovely and generous person in almost all regards, but unbelievably selfish and myopic when it comes to her relationships with men.

And I wish I could shake sense into these guys so very much. They destroy any chance of good relationships with different girls by hanging on to her, going on these weird friend-dates with her, and prioritizing her attention over everything else. This girl ain't changing in the near future. Neither is your girl. But you can. Walk away. Right now. Save your attention for someone who wants it and deserves it.
posted by amelioration at 10:51 AM on April 7, 2009 [11 favorites]

I would stop trying to figure out anything logical from her. The bottom line is that you can't handle being just friends.

That's it.
The end.

Besides, think how much worse you will feel when she starts to hook up with other guys and then tells you about it. Also, stop hooking up with her whenever she feels like it. It's just going to make you more miserable when she wants to stop again. "Friends" don't really do that because they care about each others feelings more than whatever fleeting pleasure they would get physically. It's a crappy lesson to learn, but a lot of people figure it out that way.
posted by CoralAmber at 11:00 AM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I once chased after a girl like this for three years or so. One of the bigger regrets of my life.

You should move on, there's a lot of other great people to meet out there that you're robbing yourself of meeting. In moving on, it also might make her realize how much she really needs you.

But anyway, don't waste much more time over it.
posted by NeoLeo at 11:10 AM on April 7, 2009

Maybe next time you run into her at a bar she'll be in a better spot.

Maybe next time you run into her at a bar, you'll have a real girlfriend who wants to be with you.
posted by thebazilist at 11:50 AM on April 7, 2009

Congrats, you're obviously pretty good in the sack -- she doesn't want to be with you, but she sure has a hard time passing up the chance to hook up with you.

That's the generous assessment. The less generous alternative is that she really, really likes attention and knows just how much line to play out to keep you available for whatever/whenever.
posted by hermitosis at 12:01 PM on April 7, 2009

I thought I was doing well and I thought that maybe I could just hang out, but I'm just crazy about this girl and I don't think I can be just friends with her. I also don't want to cut her out of my life again...

These two statements are contradictory. She is clearly not interested in a relationship. If you can't hang out with her, then your other option is to cut her out of your life. It will be painful, but worth it.
posted by number9dream at 12:14 PM on April 7, 2009

What everyone else said except the "call me if you change your mind" part. Don't leave any strings. They'll just get in the way of your recovery process and any future healthy relationships you'll have. Cut all ties with this woman permanently and stop going to the bars where you're likely to run into her.
posted by rocket88 at 12:15 PM on April 7, 2009

I'd also like to stress that you are not falling for your friend.

You have fallen for a girl who wants nothing more than friendship. There's a world of difference. N'thing cut strings and move on.
posted by politikitty at 12:57 PM on April 7, 2009

I agree with mostly everything everyone says...but you never know what can happen. I met a wonderful man 8 years ago and he developed a crush on me. I really enjoyed and liked him (and found him attractive), but I was getting over a recent break up and had other things going on that did not allow me to reciprocate. We did have a few romantic interludes in the beginning, but I just wasn't there emotionally.

Fortunately for me, he stayed my friend and we became very close friends--only friends...for another 7 years. He has told me that those early days were tough on him though. We both dated other people during this time and our friendship grew even stronger. About a year ago, we shifted from friends and started dating. We just got married on Sunday and have a (planned) baby on the way. And we couldn't be happier.

I do not tell you this to get your hopes up took 7 years for us to get to the point of dating--and this time I initiated (and did so enthusiastically). It took him a little while before he came around (understandably), but when we decided to do so, it was without reservation. But know that I had a lot of learning to do before I could really "see" him and that I wanted him in my life as my boyfriend and, now, husband. It was a long journey for us and we both recognize that it is best that we did not get together in those early days.

Take care of yourself and if you need to be away from her to heal, than stay away. You deserve that. Perhaps you will find a way to truly love her a just-a-friend (as my husband did), and you will have an amazing friendship (as we did). And perhaps one day that friendship might grow into more (as ours did).

But there are no guarantees. There are so many variables... just living your life as fully and honestly as you can will be the most likely route to finding the love of your life. Good luck
posted by murrey at 2:05 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I believe murrey's story. I also believe that murrey is almost certainly the only person out of all the MetaFilter community to have had that experience, because it's just that rare.

So. The odds are 20,000 to 1 or so that you're going to get the outcome you want. Are you feeling lucky? Are you feeling that lucky?
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:45 PM on April 7, 2009

I agree you should sever ties, at least until you have dated more and get her out of your system (as much as possible). But I want to warn you that chances are VERY good that once you do, she will come knocking. You will be the proverbial "chase" for her and she will not be able to handle your not fawning over her. My hope is that when that day comes, when she comes knocking after you've cut ties, that you're in a stronger place, a place in which if you are over her, you can let her know as much and if you are not over her, you can lay down the law and be okay if she is not able to handle your ultimatum. This is a painful situation, I felt your pain as I read this, but time is a funny thing. It really does heal just about all wounds. Good luck Anon.
posted by GeniPalm at 3:27 PM on April 7, 2009

Been there, super, super similar situation. AVOID.

Just imagine whether the relationship would be great. For me, the mid-relationship mid-friendship was exciting and, in some ways, good, but I couldn't honestly tell myself that the relationship would be great (or any longer lived than the hookups)
posted by tmcw at 4:39 PM on April 7, 2009

This might be the cynical answer, but: she likes stringing you along, and she likes having you available for sex. You might be able to be friends with her when you're *definitely* over her, but until then, stay away, or she'll keep you just attached enough that you keep mooning over her and never give you what you want (an actual relationship).
posted by NoraReed at 5:14 PM on April 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

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