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chicadelplaya's avatar

Is it wrong to stay in a friendship when you know the other person has feelings for you and you don't for them?

Asked by chicadelplaya (2213points) October 25th, 2008

I’ve had this good friend for about 8 years now. We have a lot of fun together, share mutual friends, and have a lot in common (political views, love great food, wine, talk about travel and other cultures, etc.). He is 20 years older than me and I’m not attracted to him physically. BUT he is to me. He has never made a move on me but it is clear how he feels. Sometimes I wonder if it is wrong to spend a lot of time with him, knowing he would want more in a heartbeat if I felt the same. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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10 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I have frequently been the object of unrequited feelings, and if I had stopped being friends with those people, I’d have missed out on a lot of friendship. I think as long as the boundaries are clear, and he’s not holding out for you and putting his romantic life on hold because of it, it’s ok.

acebamboo77's avatar

Hey, I can relate to this situation in one way or another, however my friend was only 4 years older than i was. Regardless, I will give you my story, and hope it helps,
Sicne we shared mutual friends, he told them before he told me, but I couldn already tell, as most people can when someone is interested. Our friends told me, because they felt i should know. When he told me himself I kindly told him, that he is one of my closest friends, and i think its a phase, and i will treat him no differently than i have, until it goes away, and we will remain friends.
I turned him down everytime he made any sort of move, and was sure not to do anythign that would lead him in the wrong direction.
This lasted for 3 years… it even interfered with my own personal life, because I was involved with a mutual friend of ours and we didnt know how to tell him, so we kept it a secret. Until only recently when we decided that our feelings for each other were much stronger than had ever expected to getting, and we decided to date. We kept it to ourselves for the first couple days, until my bf had a chance to talk to him and explain to him the situation. He said he was okay with it, but we both knew it bothered him, it took about a month, but he came around, and told us that initially it bothered him but hes happy for us now, and has since got a gf.

If you value the friendship i’d try to find a way to salvage the friendship, but i do not want to see you go through what i did. I felt guilty for being with the one I loved, even though I didn’t ahve feelings for him and made it clear.

Bluefreedom's avatar

The first thing I’m wondering is, does he know that you don’t feel the same for him as he does for you? If that is the case then I would imagine that both of you spending a lot of time together may be uncomfortable for him. Being around you so much may just increase his longing for you and increase his pain in knowing that he’ll never have the chance he wants with you.

As for the essence of the friendship itself, you both have 8 years invested in it and you both enjoy similar things and friends. This is simply something that you just don’t throw away. Friends are precious and sometimes hard to find and it is definitely worth keeping and preserving.

What you might do is sit down with him one day soon and have a heart to heart talk with him about your feelings and how you view the friendship so that there are no hurt feelings or misconceptions in your continuing friendship with him.

Communication is very powerful and vital in any relationship and it does wonders in working out the smallest or largest problems or anything inbetween in many cases. I’ve learned this through life experiences. I wish you the very best in your endeavors in working through this step with your friend.

loser's avatar

I’m kind of on the opposite end of that right now. Be honest for heavens sake.

chicadelplaya's avatar

@loser- I guess I am assuming that after 8 years it would be obvious. Guess I didn’t want to actually SAY it and hurt his feelings or make it awkward. Maybe it’s a chicken-shit approach, I know, but that kind of thing is hard for me.

loser's avatar

Just be honest and come out and say it. We guys aren’t always very bright, you know. He’ll have his feelings like I’m having mine, but that’s a healthy thing.

chicadelplaya's avatar

@loser- You’re right, I know you’re right. Damn! Thanks, I’ll try and figure out when and what to say. Good luck with yours too.

loser's avatar

Thanks! It kind of sucks but I know I’ll get through it.

chicadelplaya's avatar

YOU WILL! And one day you will look back at it and laugh (hopefully). Funny, is it me or does it seem like the ones we want don’t feel quite the same and vice versa? Seems like there is always one person that has greater feelings than the other person. There has to be some kind of psychology behind this. Hmmmm.

asmonet's avatar

It’s not wrong unless you’re unintentionally leading him on. Otherwise, keep him. In time it will sort iself out if you’re clear about your boundaries.

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