Want more than friendship
My best friend is a guy whom I truly love and admire for several reasons. He's nothing like anyone I've ever known, because he is trustworthy, honest and we have the same interests and career choice. We talk about everything from how we like things to be in bed and work-related things. I've known him for 2 years now, and we lived in the same house for over six months, but moved out again because of some disagreement with the other people we lived with. He's now joining the army and will be away for a year. The thing is, that I've been developing feelings that go beyond friendship since a couple of months back.... and I'm not sure, but I think he might have some of his own as well. We've discussed going to bed together several times, but lately, it's been different. There seems to be some type of seriousness behind that grin. I don't know what to make out of it. I think I would be willing to try and make it work if he wanted to get romantically involved. And I do know there's a difference between sexual attraction and love. He tells me that I'm the only one he can talk about everything to, and that he loves me. We are both in need of body contact, and I know that a lot of people think we are a couple. I'm the only one who can calm him down after a fight with someone else, and he can't stay mad at me. We hug, we kiss, we can just sit in each other's arms while watching TV, and it's so wonderful.
My question is: How can I know what he feels about me, and should I tell him what I feel? Will it destroy our friendship, as we know it? I really don't want to mess things up, because it's so great the way it is...but still...I think I want more. Thank you so much for your attention.
It appears to me that you have had a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone without all the pressures of those relationships that are testing grounds for romantic involvement from the beginning. You've even had a chance to live in the same house for a short period of time and that will have given you a chance to learn about each other's day to day habits and to decide if any of them are ones you could not live with. You enjoy each other's company. You have compatible careers. You have similar interests. There is physical attraction. You have become best friends and I can think of no better foundation for a successful romantic relationship.
I am concerned when you say that only you can calm him down after he has had a fight with someone else. It sounds as though this happens fairly frequently. Don't ignore the potential for anger and aggression to enter your relationship if you become a couple. If you are satisfied that this will not be a problem (and it calls for a lot of thought), it seems to me that your friendship is ripe for transition.
You say you love each other and you think he may "want something else", just as you do. A talk about your feelings is probably the place to start. I don't know what you mean when you use the word love. You probably include feelings of affection and a caring about the other person. If you talk to this man about your feelings and your hopes for the relationship, he is likely to respond by telling you about his feelings and his thoughts about the future. Do you dare? Why not! By approaching it as mutual exploration no one will be put off by an ultimatum and you will have a chance, together, to plan the next level of commitment. Besides, you're not likely to stay satisfied with an "as is" situation for long if you really want more and, in time, your unsatisfied desire (whether its sexual or romantic) will begin to exert a negative influence on the relationship.
One final suggestion. You speak about trying to "make it work" if he wants a romantic relationship. Try to answer for yourself why that would be something that would require work. Is that how you view romantic relationships? I hope it turns out to be more fun than work!
This question was answered by Jerry Button. Jerry is a psychotherapist, personal development trainer, workshop presenter and relationship coach practicing in Delray Beach, Florida. He believes that the key to quality of life lies in relationships. His approach to interpersonal and emotional problems is relational and psychodynamic. Jerry is experienced working with individuals, children and families and welcomes challenging opportunities.For more information visit: http://www.dynamicrelationships.net/