Can guys and girls be “just friends”?
I’ve always been the girl who is ‘one of the guys,’ which I’m sure is extremely hard to believe seeing as I’m a little prissy. But in high school, I hung out with 5 guys…in college, I was always the girl hanging out at the Fraternity houses. I attribute part of this to the fact that I was an only child and wished I’d had brothers. The other major part of it was I had too much estrogen in my life due to dance team, pom squad and sorority sisters. I needed a break from the drama and girl fights!
Lately, however, I’ve had a chance to meet some amazing women in San Francisco, thanks to the Comfort Food Club, and now lean on them when things go wrong. I have 1 or 2 really good guy friends that I can call up, like my Sweetcheeks, who can talk me off a ledge and give it to me straight.
Recently, I was told by a guy I care deeply about that he just can’t add a relationship to his already crazy schedule and as much as he really likes me, I should be with someone who can give me the attention I need and deserve. Then came those words we all love to hear, “but I still want to be friends.” ARGH!
I was honest with him, that I don’t understand how maintaining the friendship is going to be any easier then being in a relationship with me as it still requires a bit of work and commitment. I also told him I wasn’t sure if I could be just friends…that I think I’d always hope for more in the long run. Yet, I don’t want to sever ties as I think he’s amazing and we’ve connected on a deep level. We both agreed that the timing majorly sucks right now for a relationship.
But how does one take a step back to being ‘just friends?’ He’s still the one I want to go to when something good or bad happens to me. I still want to do nice things for him, like send him surprises, which I can’t share as I may or may not do them. I even wonder if there could still be a spark the next time we see each other (we live in different cities which helps and hurts things).
My fear, as this has happened in the past, is that we become surrogate boyfriend/girlfriend for each other…or at the least, that I will for him. I’m an encourager by nature…a nurturer, and as he is busy, I will naturally be there to cheer him on and ask how things are going. No harm in that, is there? Isn’t that what a FRIEND would do? Yet, I already know it will become a danger zone for me as I’ll get sucked in and will continue to care deeply for him.
The responses I’ve received from friends have all been taken with a grain of salt as I need to figure this out on my own. Responses coming from someone in a long distance relationship who says this guy’s being genuine and not just brushing me off, multiple responses telling me I deserve better and it’s his loss, and even Sweetcheeks tells me that until we agree to sever things completely, why not see what happens as friends.
I do think guys and girls can be friends, but don’t know how to take a step back from ‘being interested in someone’ to ‘friends.’ I need to find that switch that allows me to care for him and shut it down…or at least dim it a little. Maybe then the ‘friends’ thing will become clearer.