T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 96308
posted 09-01-2012 11:53 AM
I have a friend. We have chemistry. Quite extraordinary chemistry. I am attracted to her in a very visceral way. And when we touch, the chemistry becomes blatant. It just seems that we are very comfortable being close to each other, that it feels startlingly natural. Our hugs turn into holds; if we're sitting next to each other looking at the same book or whatever, our arms will touch and neither of us will move; once we spent a couple of hours cuddling, her taking the initiative and leaning into me, and it was indistinguishable from what cuddling a girlfriend feels like to me: there was no hesitation, no awkwardness or need to maintain a certain level of distance in the way one might with a friend to whom one was not physically attracted. We melt into each other. It's effortless. She does not do this with other friends.
She knows I have a crush on her. When I told her, she said that she didn't know what she felt back. I assumed she wasn't interested in women. Few months on, I discovered she is and has had girlfriends - but also that she had been sexually assaulted in the past, and for that reason had trouble with relationships. And she said, that is the only reason I'm not with you right now. It was a brief conversation, and I haven't brought it up again, because it was obvious she was not particularly keen on talking about it. I'm so conflicted. She's my friend, and I would hate to make her uncomfortable in any way. I respect absolutely whatever call she makes. But.... we still have this unusually powerful chemistry. Others have noticed it. And it makes it hard to move on, because there are very few people to whom I've felt that level of physical pull. I realise you can be attracted to someone without acting on it; I've been in roughly comparable situations before, but never quite like this. And I want to be a friend to her. Not an awkward maybe-would-be-girlfriend. It is friends I need. I wonder if it is too late for the awkward. I suppose I'd like to figure out how to move on and how to set this to rest in my head. I've tried dating a few other women but it is difficult to give them the undivided, impartial attention they deserve when this woman sets me on fire, physically and intellectually. I know there'll be other fish, but this seems to be the kind of situation I'm very good at getting myself into. (We are in our mid twenties.)
Member # 95710
posted 09-01-2012 04:09 PM
Having feelings for someone that cannot be truly expressed - physically or emotionally - can be very stressful. I've been in your position before with a best friend and other friends, so I understand how conflicted you feel. You feel this chemistry, yet you want to be there for her and be her friend if that is what she wants from the relationship. I want to tell you that that's extremely commendable, and respectful. Good on you for that! I know how much you want to be with her, and how it's sometimes tough to accept friendship boundaries and try to move on from how you feel. You seem to be handling it very respectfully and with tact. Seeing other women might get easier in time, and it might take a while for you to get over her. It takes me a long time to get over people - crushes, partners, or ex's - so I understand that it's a tough process, but it's one that can be done. Be patient with yourself and tread lightly - don't beat yourself up if you're having trouble moving on. I know you stated that she doesn't sound too keen on discussing this any further, but maybe you could bring it up when you are hanging out at a neutral location - like a coffee shop or restaurant - just to make sure that you're both on the same page and that you both know what's going on. What do you think about that? Sometimes it helps to get a bit of distance from those who are causing us painful feelings. Do you think that could happpen? It's tough not to see close friends for a while, but the distance to give yourself attention and self-care might help you. I hope you are feeling better, and that you have a good day!