I’m answering your most important dating questions! If you have a question about love, sex or dating, then be sure to leave a comment. Maybe the next question I answer will be yours!
This week: Everyone’s heard the “let’s just be friends” speech from someone they’ve been attracted to. But how do you make a friendship work with someone you’re attracted to? How do you keep sex from getting in the way of your friendship?
Like the podcast? Become a Dr. NerdLove patron at Patreon.com/DrNerdLove
Want more dating advice? Check out my books at www.www.doctornerdlove.com/books
I just started reading your column and I need advice on the following problem: I have an unrequited best friendship with someone (you could call her A). Like, I want to be best friends and she wants to be good friends or friends. And I don’t know how labels work. I just want to hang out with her all the time. And I just worry that I’m not good enough (like, everything I like about myself, such as being friendly and funny, such as enjoying sci-fi books, she has tenfold) and I worry that I will drive her away (maybe us hanging out so much puts strain on the friendship, maybe me finding excuses to hang out with her has started becoming transparent) and I worry about my ulterior motives that, maybe if I hang out with her enough, we will magically move from being good friends to best friends.
I really can’t help it that I’m so happy hanging out with her and she is for all intents and purposes my best friend. We see each other in groups and one-on-one almost every day each week. I look forward to hanging out with her all day on the rare days that we don’t see each other, then I’m waiting to hang out with her the next day. Like, I have a good number of friends. She just far outshines them all.
As background, we have the same lifestyle (a few years out of college, work part-time) and hobbies (hiking, books). We have the same taste in everything. We now hang out almost six days each week. The timeline of our friendship is as follow:
11 months ago: we started seeing each one-on-one as friends. We hung out one to four times each week to do our mutual hobbies.
2 months ago: we become, in my view, best friends. We really started discussing our personal lives and we realize just how many shared interests and commonalities we really have together.
1 month ago: she becomes incredibly busy with a personal project and is worried that I think we’re dating. She tells me that we need to stop seeing each other one-one-one. I tell her that I have no desire to date her and that I only want to be friends. I incorrectly figure we’re breaking up as friends (and I text her a few days later that ‘she’s one of my best friends and that I wish we could see each other again’).
1 week ago: she asks for my help with that personal project. I, of course, say yes (while it’s work for her, it’s fun for me and I also want to see more of her).
So, as we’re working on the project, about a week ago, she clarifies that she thinks we’re good friends. She explains that she’s had some bad, male “friends” who wanted to date her (which is additionally not good because she’s gay). She said she likes me as a friend. And I really like that. I just can’t think of her as a friend, because, while I have plenty of friends, she is my only best friend. Like, I see her four times more often than anyone else. And, unlike all my other friends, she and I have the same taste in basically everything. I know I shouldn’t compare other people. She’s just my favorite person to hang out with and, if I had a choice, I would hang out with her every day.
And I just wonder what your advice is as follow:
1) Do I just keep going along with this friendship like I don’t have all these feelings (besides that earlier text, I have never said anything about us being “best friends,” even though that’s basically how I feel)?
2) How do I stop worrying about our future as friends (like, I personally already have plans for us eating brunch twenty years from now; well, we do also have a few plans set for six months from now; I really see potential for us as friends and I just can’t help thinking constantly about ways to be a better friend to her)?
3) How do I avoid becoming too much for her (like, I have stopped texting her as much given she’s now a lot more busy; and I’m trying to keep myself collected. I’m just always available for plans with her in a way that I wouldn’t be for other friends and I think she’s starting to notice that)?
Hey there Dr. NerdLove,
I’ve come across your site and like your stuff. I read your article “What Do You Do When You’re Too Ugly to Date?” – The way I look and how people treat me has been plaguing me all of my life. Even at work I have people who comment on my looks and disrespect me, upper level managers as well. Saying things like, “It looks like I’ve had a sex change.”
I’m 29 now and didn’t lose my virginity until 25… only due to online and drastically lowering my standards. But I’m not that picky when it comes to looks and would love to have a meaningful relationship… the issue is, I really am ugly and have little success with women. Even with online, it is incredibly difficult to get a girl just to meetup for coffee/drinks. I have tried online a lot over the past 5 years, all different sites, strategies, etc. Usually they just flake or ghost me. There isn’t much I can do with my looks besides losing 10-15lbs and putting on some muscle. I have dark bags/deep wrinkles under my eyes and my hair is slowly falling out. I’m on a hair loss regimen but this hasn’t helped much.
I honestly hate the way I look and the way people treat me. Over the years I’ve become more socially awkward from the way I’ve been treated and feel like I just don’t belong. I’ve been seeing a psychologist but I just feel like this is an issue I’ll never be able to overcome. I’m embarrassed of how I look… I can show you pictures, I’m not overblowing it. I’m maybe a 3/10 if I’m lucky.
All I’ve really wanted/needed to be content in life is a few friends and to be able to date occasionally/find a meaningful relationship. But I’m just starting to feel like I’ll never be able to have things in life I want the most. This honestly makes me feel like it just isn’t worth the effort and causes me to have suicidal ideations (no current/future plans). I’m just not really sure what to do anymore. I feel like an outcast, that my life just doesn’t matter, and that I have pretty limited options.
Man In The Mirror
I’m 27 years old guy. Lately, I’ve been trying to comprehend my feelings about my last two relationships and setting my boundaries. I’ve always had low self-esteem with all that it implies. No firm boundaries, conflict avoidance and so forth. I’m working on improving my lifestyle and with the changes comes confidence. The only thing that leaves me confused is romantic relationships.
Last year I was dating this girl, May. Mostly out relationship was great. We had similar life positions, we took interest in each other’s hobbies and we hated the same things.
Sometimes she would get really pissed at me for various reasons. Sometimes she would interpret my words or actions in a weird way, like I was trying to be covertly rude with her, other times…I don’t even know…bad mood? When she didn’t like something, she would lash out on me and say, in very unpleasant ways, that I don’t appreciate her. We dated for about six months in total and during that time she broke up with me three times. Every time she apologized shortly after the fight but refused to discuss it. After the third time we didn’t see each other for two months. Then we got back together, spend two weeks doing a lot of romantic stuff and having mind blowing, leg shaking sex (leg shaking for both of us, which was interesting). Until it happened again.
We were discussing our plans for the upcoming weekend when she said she wanted a surprise. I thought it was a cool idea. I said that I too want a surprise. She got mad. I did my best to defuse the situation and it turned out she thought that I meant some passive-aggressive shit like “Oh, I want many things too, honey!”. My idea was that I’d make something for her on one day and she would do something for me on the other. Sometimes I want to be treated like a queen too, you know. I decided that it was time to call it quits and thanked her for the good times. I know, I’m describing her as my crazy ex, but I can put my hands and my heart on the Necronomicon and swear that she is a cool and smart person and it really saddens me that our relationship didn’t work out. I guess we expected different things from each other.
Then there’s July. I dated her before May, about two and a half years ago. It was a hard case of oneitis. I adored her immensely. I had a crush on her since the first time I saw her. After two years of admiring her from a distance I asked her out. We dated for 5 months, she broke up with me and told she wanted to be friends. That was heartbreaking but I tried my best to stay cool. It was very hard to move on, as we are co-workers and I see her every day. But we actually became friends. Not close friends, but still. Over time, though, I started realizing that she’s not that great of a person as I imagined she is. She’s good and caring and all. But I feel like she’s a little resentful, a little tactless and a little manipulative. I say “a little” because usually it’s very subtle, only noticeable by her snarky, out of place or passive-aggressive comments, said under her breath every now and then. It’s subtle and I’d usually pretend I didn’t hear those remarks, but they were enough to make me have bitter-sweet feeling every time we met. Happy to see her but waiting for it to be over.
During the past holidays I fell into depressive mood and didn’t want to see anyone. I only met with my closest family and spend most of the holidays playing videogames with my best friend whom I haven’t seen for months due to life reasons. When we got back to work, it looked like July was avoiding me, keeping her eyes down when walking past me and when our eyes did meet, she would immediately turn away. I texted her to meet me at our usual secret meeting place (we kept our relationship as secret as possible), as I wanted to give presents for her and her daughter. But she replied to me asking why I was so eager to see her all of a sudden, after so many days! That’s where my admiration with her has ended. It was so unexpected and odd. I assume she expected me to reach out to her during the holidays and got offended when I didn’t (except the short exchange of congratulations). But we are not that close to spend all the time together and we met at my place just a few weeks ago. So, I told her that I didn’t insist on meeting and that was the last time we talked. I was thinking to call her if not to restore our friendship then to make peace, at least. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I don’t hold any grudges against her but I don’t want to have her in my life either because relationship with her is not that enjoyable, and it hasn’t been for quite a while.
And here I am, trying to get closure. I learned how to cut people from my life, to stand my ground and not fall into abuse. I don’t have the need to explain my positions in life and just do my thing. That, in turn, means that I’m closing myself from people even more than I did in the past. And potentially remove the possibility to connect with people who might be right for me. What if I was at fault in these two relationships? What if I wasn’t attentive and caring enough? Was it just incompatibility or my inability to adapt and compromise? Surely there was something wrong and stupid I did, I’m a human being after all, though I never mean any harm and I try put a lot of effort into relationships, which makes it even more frustrating. I’d like to pursue a new romantic relationship but I’m afraid I’ll fuck it up with my ignorance.
At this point I will appreciate any advice. Thank you.
Drizzle is a Lifestyle.