So, I have to have a talk with someone I know. They’ve become impossible for me to be around. The problem is they really do care about me. They just don’t know they’re hurting me at the same time. This person is my friend. She and I have come to start hanging out quite regularly. We met about a year and a half ago when I asked her out. After that it was on again off again with us. Finally, within the past couple of months, things have actually started going somewhere. That is, until she completely betrayed me. She called me one night, clearly upset, and said she’d had a very bad day and asked me if I wanted to come over to her apartment and make brownies with her and watch a movie to help her feel better. I said yes but I was in my jiu-jitsu class. I ended up leaving early so I could join her. When I got all the way to her apartment, she called me and told me she’d forgotten she had an 8 page paper to write for class and had to cancel on me. She has had a history of cancelling in the past, even when she herself had asked me on a date before. I was audibly upset though I didn’t say anything out of line to her. Because I was already in the neighborhood and had friends that lived close to her, I decided to walk around and see if they were home. I didn’t want to drive all that way for nothing. None of them happened to be home and as I was walking back to my car, a guy walked up to her apartment. She answered. He went in. The lights went off. I was devastated. It really took a toll on me. She’d lied to me and when she found someone “better”, she was suddenly busy.
Fast forward a little bit and it was my turn to have a really bad day. I really wanted to talk it out with someone but I didn’t feel like any of my friends would want to hear about it. That’s when I felt like I should text this girl. I thought it was crazy and fought the impression for about an hour until I finally relented. She ended up being incredibly kind to me and just listening to what I had to say and at the end she gave thoughtful feedback. As I was driving home she even texted me to tell me how much she cares. It was extremely kind of her. It made me see her in a different light. It repaired a bit of the damage done.
Fast forward even more and one day she calls me and says that she’s had a breakup and really just needs to talk to someone. I ended up driving over to her and listened to her for a long time. I’m going to be a therapist so listening to people is kind of what I do. During that talk, she mentioned how nice it is that she can have a friend like me that isn’t going to try to get with her. She mentioned how a lot of her guy friends will end up kissing her at some point and she’s not interested in them and it ruins the relationship. At the time it didn’t bother me because I had no particular feelings for her except maybe a little leftover anger. Well, I think her opinion of me really changed that day. Because she kept texting me and texting me and texting me. Inviting me over all the time. Within in the past few weeks we’ve begun holding hands and cuddling on her couch as we watch movies. I knew she wouldn’t want anything more and I respected that. However, she keeps talking about these boys she’s seeing to her roommates and texting them even while we’re holding hands or doing whatever. She’s completely unaware of how it affects me, too. Obviously, I’ve come to have feelings for her and she doesn’t have feelings back even though she acts like she does. It’s made it almost impossible to be around her because, even though she genuinely cares for me and will sometimes just text me to ask how I’m doing and if I need anything (even if I’m totally fine), I have feelings for her and the way she acts around me almost makes me think she has feelings for me, too. Even though she doesn’t. Last night was the final nail. She complains to me that her relationships fail because she gets too physical with guys too quickly and they don’t develop a real relationship. I realized she and I have a LOT in common emotionally, mentally, etc. on paper we’re a great match for each other but she just doesn’t have feelings for me outside of friendly feelings.
That leads me to the thing I’m scared of. I have to talk to her about this. I have to set a boundary and take care of myself. I have to let her know we can’t keep going on like we’ve been because it’s really hurting me to have feelings for her, for her to act like she has feelings back and yet doesn’t, and then have her actively pursuing other people while we’re together and thinking it’s perfectly ok. I know her response will be that she just doesn’t feel the same way but she’ll try and offer solutions. The only solutions I see as acceptable will be taking it in the direction of us dating, or completely cutting each other out of our lives unless she really needs someone to talk to when something bad happens. I can’t be “just friends” with her. It kills me every time she talks about a boy to her roommates and I’m close by. But I’m afraid of losing her, too. She really does care about me. She’s made that very clear. She doesn’t have feelings for me. I’m afraid of losing someone that cares. I have to talk to her and I know it’s a black and white issue here. I can’t stay “just friends” with her. Even if she doesn’t mention other boys or text them, I know she’s still out there doing who knows what with them and seeing them. Most importantly, I know it’s not with me. I can’t pretend those other guys don’t exist. So, it’s all or nothing and I know she’ll make it nothing.
I have to do this and I’m so scared to but I know it’s the right thing for me. It’s hard, but I gotta do it. I’m just so scared and I’m hoping the community either has advice or has been in my shoes or just has an encouraging word to share.