You Say I'm Just a Friend

just a friend sadness

Why do you say I'm just a friend? A common question in relationships where one is far more attracted to the other. If this is your dilemna, you will enjoy hearing this advice from our dating coach.

You Say I'm Just a Friend, Why?

Reader Question

Hello, I met a man who has seven children and I accepted the whole package and I even help him out a lot with the children. I love his children and they love me. I do a lot around the house for him and I cater to him sometimes to make him feel loved and special. He keeps saying we are just friends… but I have met his kids, made love a number of times, and have taken care of his children, and I am in his corner a hundred percent. I feel so scared he is going to leave me after all I have socially, emotionally and financially put into this relationship. I will be devastated if I have to be away from his children. They are my hearts. He is punishing me for what his ex wife did to him. He asked for a good woman and he has one and now he doesn't know what to do with it. Help me, I am so sad.~~Doll

Expert Reply

Dear Doll,

I can understand why you are sad. You have given your heart wholly and completely to seven children who have come to depend on you and to a man who has benefited from your generosity. All you have asked for in return is their love. I can also understand why you are anxious that the relationship might end. The man you love has repeated that he considers you a friend, while your feelings for him run much deeper. This may be why you feel the relationship with this family is somewhat tenuous and solely dependent on the father's involvement with you.

Anyone who has done as much for this family as you have would be angry and hurt if the affection and commitment weren't reciprocated. Still, the truth is that he only considers you his friend. That doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate what you do for him and it doesn't mean that he is punishing you by not wanting a more meaningful relationship. It simply means that he doesn't feel the same way about you that you feel about him.

I am wondering if he has been trying to tell you this by continually saying that the two of you are 'just friends?' I am also wondering if you have been trying to convince him to feel differently towards you by doing more and more for him and his children? This would explain why you blame him, "he asked for a good woman and he has one and now he doesn't know what to do with it," and why you blame his ex-wife, "he is punishing me for what his ex-wife did to him." It's time to accept that each of you has a different level of attraction for the other. It's not personal it's dating.

To understand this difference, it might help to realize that some people refer to differing levels of attraction as two people not having chemistry. Chemistry is a broad definition that includes; physical, emotional, and spiritual connection as well as two people sharing values, commonalities and interests. You and the man you are interested may have similarities, but you may not connect is all the areas. This doesn't mean you are not a wonderful person and a 'good woman.' Nor does it mean that he is not a wonderful man. It simply means that there is not the same level of attraction and interest between the two of you and there is nothing you can do to convince him to change his attraction level anymore than he could change yours.

Which means, it's time for you to sit down with this man and ask him what kind of future he sees for the two of you? If his future looks different than the one you have in mind, you'll need to decide for yourself if you want to continue to have a relationship with him. Depending on how the conversation goes, you may decide that your relationship needs to change. It is clear that you are very fond of his children; should you decide to change your involvement with him, perhaps the two of you can negotiate the kind of relationship you'll have with his children.

~~Lori

Friends or Lovers?

Reader Question

I have been seeing this girl for two months. I'm not sure if we are dating or friends. I asked if I could kiss her for the first time on our second encounter. We hung out at her place and watched a movie. She giggled when I got close to her lips and said we were friends. It just seems like we are dating. How do I know without bringing up the subject?~~Peter

Expert Reply

Dear Peter,

Dating and 'being friends' means different things to different people. One person may define dating as hanging out, doing things together and being attracted to each other. Likewise, 'being friends' may be defined by a person as being interested in the other person, going out to places and doing things together. Because dating and being friends can mean different things to different people, it is likely that from time to time you will find yourself confused and wondering what kind of relationship you are in when it comes to liking a certain girl.

In your particular case, when you tried to kiss the girl you like, she giggled and told you the two of you "were friends." This implies that at this time, she has limited the relationship to non-romantic involvement. Her response to you in context is how you know that you and the girl in question are not dating.

One reason you may be confused is that you are misreading her signals, and as a result confuse what you would like the relationship to be with how she wants things to be. This is not to say that a friendship can't move to a romantic relationship, it's just harder to get to romance once the 'friend' thing has been established. If you want to be more than just friends, you're going to need to talk to the girl and tell her that you want more. It's a risk, but it's a risk worth taking if this is where your heart is at.

~~Lori

You Say I'm Just a Friend