Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ask Abbie: You Say He's Just A Friend



Am I More Than A Friend Asks:


I'm a well established young woman with an ok job, good man and decent social life. I've always prided myself in keeping good company and my current closest friend Paul defines that. He's great to hang out with, chat on the phone, and comforts or cheers me up when needed. Sounds great doesn't it?

I should be happy but I feel guilty. The other day I had an issue at work and as soon as I got home, I called Paul. Not my boyfriend. Paul. I'm starting to feel like I'm cheating on my boyfriend. I don't sneak around with Paul, and nothing's happened but I rarely bring up my convos with Paul to my boyfriend (sometimes he doesn't even know what's going on). I love my boyfriend and we talk, emote, communicate, etc all the time but I still don't have with him what I have with Paul. Did I kid myself into thinking I could be platonic with a man? Should I have expected this?



Ask Abbie Answers:


You referred to Paul as your "current closest" friend -- is the friendship fairly new? You could be excited by the new friendship and confusing those feelings of excitement and euphoria with love. The same thing happens when we first get into a romantic relationship. The honeymoon period is exciting, we're learning so much about the other person, experiencing new things with each other -- it is a chemical high. These feelings may pass. They may. I think you feel as though you were cheating on your boyfriend with Paul because you think your feelings for Paul have crossed the line from platonic love to romantic line. If you're thinking about being with Paul then you've crossed into Eros.


At the same time, have your romantic feelings for your boyfriend diminished? It is possible to love more than one person. Everyone is different, and you can love the same qualities in many people. If you practice exclusive monogamy and are not polyamorous, then you have to first figure out if you do love Paul enough to leave your boyfriend for. Please consider that the past few weeks, months (however long the conversations have been taking place) have only been a moment of bonding you're going through, deepening your friendship with Paul


Something else to consider is why you're keeping your conversations with Paul a secret from your boyfriend. What reaction from your boyfriend are you avoiding by not telling him? Will he just not care about your relationship with Paul? Will he be threatened by it? What's different in the way you communicate with your boyfriend from the way you communicate with Paul? You've made it clear why you feel a connection to Paul -- you're able to communicate with him, you receive comfort from him and have "friend" conversations with him. If there's a possibility that your boyfriend will feel relieved that someone else is listening to your problems then that's a sure sign that you have to rethink your relationship. Another dangerous territory to be in is talking to Paul about your boyfriend... especially if Paul is single. That is a set-up for a slip-up.


Did you kid yourself thinking you could be platonic with a man? That's a question only you know the answer to. Have you ever had a platonic relationship in the past? How did those turn out? If you have a pattern of falling for your guy friends, then perhaps you are setting yourself up for "failure" in this situation as well.


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If you have a health, nutrition, fitness, body image, dating & relationships or sex question, send me an email or fill out the form on my website About page or Written Word page.

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