Can You Really Go Back to Just Friends

“I’m going out,
I’m gonna drink myself to death
And in the crowd
I see you with someone else,
I brace myself,
Cause I know it’s going to hurt,
But I like to think at least things can’t get any worse.”

-Florence and the Machine

So if you’ve been following my blog you are well aware that I got my heart broken recently.  The guy that I was dating told me that he did not have feelings for me but that he still wanted to be friends despite our lack of connection.  He said that he had fun every time that he was with me and that I was a great girl.  While I want to be friends with him, I can’t help but wonder, if I was so wonderful and he had such great times with me, why end things?  Why was I not good enough?

After a few days of no communication, he broke the silence and reached out to me for friendship, to which I gladly replied.  We talked for a few days just like old times except his texts didn’t bring that same smile to my face and instead brought tears to my eyes.  He was the greatest guy I ever dated and the person I felt the strongest connection to yet he says that the feeling isn’t there. I felt fireworks when we kissed and got dizzy every time yet he felt nothing.  Sure a large part of me hopes that in spending time with me he will see what he is missing and will change his mind but I also genuinely care about him and like spending time with him in any capacity–friends or more than friends.  So, if all that I can have with him is friendship then I am willing to give it a shot.

Well, yesterday we took our friendship to another level and went out for brunch.  I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed his company, yet things were definitely different.  Rather than sit together on the couch, he sat distant in a chair.  There was no gentle touch on my back or kiss goodbye or hug hello.  There was no physical contact whatsoever and that hurt but it is just part of our new strictly platonic relationship which will take some time to get used to.  Of course he looked great and I was dying to kiss him.  He smelled like Light Blue and his eyes were more azure than ever.  His smile was just as cute as usual and he was still the same sweet door opening, bill paying gentleman.  We grabbed breakfast at Cheesecake factory (which was delicious) then hung out at his place watching bad tv.  Normally this would have been cuddle time but instead we sat far apart and he did all that he could to avoid contact.  The conversation flowed with the same ease and all in all the day was fun but I still wonder, can you really go back to being just friends with someone you had romantic involvement with?

Many of my friends are telling me not to torture myself and not to give him the pleasure of being friends with me.  Some people are telling me to ignore him all together while others are telling me to tell him off, yet I can’t bare to do either.  A good friend of mine believes that if I wasn’t good enough for him, why should he get to enjoy all the best parts of me?  Why should he get to go out to eat with me, eat my home cooked dinners, have great laughs and conversations with me, and go out to bars with me if he doesn’t feel anything for me?  Why should I torture myself into holding on to the “what if” of him developing feelings for me when it likely will never happen?  What happens when I later have to see him hit on another girl or have a girlfriend?  Could I handle it?  These are all good questions, none of which I have the answers to.  I have no clue how I will ever bear to see him with someone else and I know it will break my heart all over again the day that I do.  Yet if I care about him as much as I believe that I do I should just want him to be happy, even if that is without me.

Maybe it is too soon for us to go back to being just friends.  Perhaps with more time I could let go of my feelings for him and only desire a platonic relationship; however, as of right now all I want to do is lay in his arms and go back to the good old days.  I do wonder if we were only ever meant to be friends and our connection is one of friendship and not romanticism and hopefully that will come true with time because the hurt of knowing he has no feelings for me is sometimes too much to bare.  I wonder if my thinking that he may be the one was me confusing what was supposed to be close friendship with love because I’ve never been in love before and I don’t know what it feels like, yet it sure felt real with him.  As of where it stands now, we are just friends and I’m pretty positive that is all we will ever be because I really do not see him changing his mind about me.  So, all I can do is move on and move forward with our new relationship and once I’ve healed search for love with someone else.

2 thoughts on “Can You Really Go Back to Just Friends

  1. Hi… I was wondering how this ended up for you.

    I am in the reverse situation at the moment and don’t know what to do. I met a guy online from another state… I was planning on moving anyway so saw no harm in chatting. Well… we did everything wrong and let ourselves get carried away … I felt like he was perfect for me, we seemed to be so well suited. However, I only ever saw two pics of him and we never skyped as he said he hated it. When I finally moved six months later (which I made clear to him was not for him), and we met, he was nothing as I expected. The strong, mature and confident man I thought I knew was immature (wanted a mummy type), socially inept and had no interests, hobbies or many other friends. I told him after our first date that I was sorry but there was no chemistry and I was not interested in being more than friends. He was sad and upset but wanted to be my friend. We spent a lot of time together over the next few weeks and many of the things I really liked about him were still true. He is sweet, caring, loyal, chivalrous, considerate and affectionate, the “cons” (including a complete obliviousness to table manners and general ettiquette, as well as some questionable hygiene habits) became less important… one night he kissed me, I kissed back.. and burst into tears! I felt confused as I was attracted to his personality, but knew in the end our differences were too much and it wouldn’t work. He begged me to give it a chance and I eventually agreed to. It has been two months and my feelings have not changed. I care about him deeply, I am attracted to him, but there are no butterflies, we have very little in common and I am not in love with him, nor do I think I ever will. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to end it, I feel awful, I know he doesn’t have a lot of friends and I want to be there for him… but I cant be ‘with’ him.

    I am by no means perfect. I am overweight and have my own issues. Part of me feels terrible that I dont love him as he has been so accepting of me.. but its just not there and you cant fake it. Im sure your ex truly cared/cares for you… but sometimes it just doesnt feel “right”. I wish I had his courage to ends things before it gets too serious and just hurts him more 😦

    • That’s a tough situation. I’ve been in that boat before, not for such a lengthy period of time but I’ve had guys like me who I just didn’t feel it back for. I’ve been attracted to personality but not physicality and without those butterflies the relationship just can’t sustain beyond friendship because you will always want something and someone else and will never feel satisfied. What sucks is that usually the people we are most sexually attracted to do not also have the great personality we need in a partner and are not the boyfriend type, or at least that’s the way it works out for me. The people I’ve had the best sexual chemistry with would never date me and just wanted to hook up while the guys who have wanted a relationship with me and who have done everything right just don’t do it for me. Dating is such a tough endeavor. With regards to going back to being just friends, it’s tough because the one who got dumped will hold feelings for the person for a long time after and it always ends up getting in the way. I tried to be friends with an ex and perhaps if we’d cooled off for a few months then tried it would have worked but we went right from dating to friends and that was a huge mistake. I regret not having better control of my emotions and not having the strength to stay away from him for a while after we broke up. I wound up ruining my next relationship a little with the jealousy and uncomfortableness of me still having feelings for my ex and lost the friendship because I made things awkward. It was so hard to see him and not be with him. I know of some people who have gone back to being just friends seamlessly but I still believe that one person will hold onto the feelings for at least some time and it’s not the wisest thing to do. Should you choose to end it and become friends I suggest telling him that you think that you should wait a bit before hanging out as just friends to do some cooling off or to adjust to the difference in pace. It is the best way to ensure that no one gets further hurt, you don’t ruin the friendship, and you don’t create an sticky situations down the line.

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