We all need a little guidance now and then, so whether you’re stressed about a fling gone wrong, a recently wrecked relationship or how to handle a stage-five clinger, Real Live College Guy Dale is here to help you navigate the college dating scene.
I've known my crush/coworker for three years. When I left for college, we got closer. We hug all the time (long and tight), joke and talk about our problems (such as his cheating ex). He calls me his favorite and keeps telling me to visit him at his apartment when I come back from school. But he said he could never like a mutual friend of ours (who is like me) because their lifestyles don't mix. Are we just friends? Is he putting his feelings aside because he doesn't think it could ever work? –Friend-Zoned in Florida
I definitely think you’re friend-zoned, but I wouldn’t say that it’s a bad thing, necessarily. I want to know why guys and girls can’t just be friends sans romantic feelings. In case any of my readers needed a heads-up: It’s totally possible for a guy to like a girl as just a friend.
I think your friend values your relationship, which I’m assuming he thinks is totally platonic. I also think that he said he wouldn’t be able to date your mutual friend (the one you’re like) as a way to quell any possible romantic feelings. I take that statement as him saying, “I like hanging out with you and I appreciate that we can talk about stuff, but our lifestyles are too different for us to ever be compatible with each other.”
And here’s the thing, Florida: That’s totally okay!
I get it. I’ve been there. One of my best friends was also the girl I had the biggest crush on in high school. We were friends then and nothing ever happened — not necessarily because our lifestyles were too different, but because we were too alike. Regardless, we’ve moved on from that stage in our relationship, and she’s someone with whom I can hang out at Starbucks and talk with for hours without feeling like I’m in love with her. It’s a miracle, I know, but somehow we’ve managed to bypass everyone’s assumptions that men and women can’t just be friends without feelings.
As much as it might suck for you to hear, I’ve got a strong suspicion that you two are simply friends. I don’t think he’s putting his romantic feelings for you aside, because I don’t believe he had any romantic feelings for you in the first place.
So you can look at this situation in one of two ways:
1. You constantly reflect on what you two would be like as a couple. If you do this, you’ll never move on. Maybe one day the two of you will decide to go out, but I think your differences would cause you two to eventually end things, and then what? Then you’ve lost out on both a relationship and a friendship, and you’re stuck with nothing but regret. Depressing, I know.
2. You move forward and accept that you two are always just going to be friends. Hang out, have fun and realize that a friendship with this guy might be leaps and bounds better than a relationship with him would be. With this option, you don’t have to worry about losing him at all.