It should be a great thing to have someone tell you they want to be your friend. If you want to be more than friends with that person, then it really sucks. When the person you love says “I just want to be friends” its pretty devastating.
Now you have a dilemma. Do you actually try to be JUST friends? When you have feelings for someone the other option of cutting them off completely doesn’t look so great either. You probably will go back and forth in your head trying to decide whether to put the fake smile on and say “sure, we can be friends” or to tell the person to go to hell because they just crushed your heart.
You want to say go to hell so bad, bbbuuuttt, you just can’t quite get the words out. Before you realize what is happening you are agreeing to still be friendly, talk to, text and hang out (on their terms) with this person. At first you tell yourself, “I don’t want to lose this person, so I guess this is better than nothing”. As time goes on it seems to get harder, not easier. When you spend time with someone you really like or love the feelings tend to grow, not diminish. So it is like a slow torture to be around someone who sorta wants to be around you.
This other person may be genuine and really want you to be part of their life. They try to be sympathetic to your feelings and set good boundaries. This can be helpful, but still really hard anyway because their niceness makes you like them even more. Eventually they go on to date someone else and then it is more torture to pretend to be happy for them. In the end people usually decide they can’t deal with the situation and end the so-called friendship.
The flip side is being friends with the person who is now oblivious to how the friendship is affecting you. They call you when its convenient, talk about people they currently like more than you, and don’t always text back when you need something. Yet you still find yourself wanting to be around this person anyway. You tell yourself you aren’t going to text them back or answer their phone call, but its like you are being controlled by another brain entirely. Any little bit of positive reinforcement keeps you in this alternate universe you are trying to label a friendship.
It isn’t because you are crazy. It is because emotions aren’t rational. If you like someone than any attention they give you makes you hope for more. There may be a couple of people on the planet that are rational in relationships, but I have yet to meet them. So if you are like the rest of us, you will remain friends with this person until the day it is too painful to be around them then it is to be away from them. What happens is that you imagine how hard it would be to never see or talk to this person again. That image reminds you of the pain you are trying to avoid and it keeps you in this cycle of so-called friendship with this person. Until the friendship is more painful than your imagination of being apart, you won’t be able to let go.
The moral of this story is to not get down on yourself if you are in this position with someone. It happens to most of us at some point, and for a lot of us more than once. It is possible that your feelings will disappear and you can actually become real friends or the person changes their mind and wants more than friendship. Warning, this rarely happens in real life. What usually happens is you finally get sick of the situation and move on. You may already feel sick of the situation and still feel stuck. Emotions are very powerful and usually most of us choose to take the hard road even though we know better. A day will come eventually when you will feel strong enough to let this relationship go if it isn’t giving you what you need. Just remember, you aren’t only one and you’ll know when you are really ready to move on.
My hope is that your broken heart heals. Then you will be free to find someone who really loves you and wants to be more than friends.