Heya Doc. This letter was spurred by your recent column about letting folks down gently. My question is related but separate: how do I keep a relationship platonic when the romantic interest is mutual?
For some context: I’ve recently met this lovely person with whom I have a great deal in common, including stated romantic interest. However, for reasons unrelated, I (though poly) am not open for new relationships at this point, and falling in love would cause serious harm to both myself, this new friendship, and to my already established relationships.
We’ve spoken about this explicitly and seem to have a good understanding of each other’s positions, but I want to make sure my actions match my words here. It’s a precarious situation.
So. How do I maintain a platonic relationship with my new friend, while minimising the risk of catching feelings? Emotional intimacy is a major aspect of all my relationships, and I want that to be true for this new friendship as well, to the extent that I can manage it.
What advice do you have for navigating these deep waters? What are your do’s and don’t’s for not falling in love?