Desperately trying to understand the inscrutable mind of the college male? Real Live College Guy Joel (replete with a name way cooler than those of RLCGs Joe and Joey) is here to help you out, call you out, write you a poem to show you’re great and to stop worrying, etc. From major emotional drama to the minutiae of social interaction, use him as your one-stop shop for guy advice.
I have really serious feelings for one of my best guy friends. I'm not ready to tell him yet, but he always vents to me about the girl he likes, who, by the way, treats him so poorly. I give him advice for hours while putting on my game face, but I always wind up feeling awful afterwards. Is there any way to tell him that I can't be his therapist without letting him know my feelings? Again, I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. - Sick of Giving Advice at Syracuse
Sick of Giving Advice,
I’d make a Taylor Swift “You Belong with Me” joke if I didn’t realize how painful these situations are when you’re in them. You are deep, deep inside the friend zone, and before you do anything you need to realize that you may never get out. However, I think it’s best if you don’t let these feelings consume you without telling him. You need to talk to this guy. Soon. Speaking from experience, if you keep waiting for the “right” time to tell him you may never get a chance. But I do agree you can’t drop it on him all of a sudden while he’s coping with problems with another girl.
What kind of advice are you giving him? It may just be your jealousy talking when you say this girl “treats him so poorly,” but clearly things must not be going well between them since they aren’t dating. Don’t be rude, but also don’t be afraid to tell him that he is better than this other girl. Bash her without saying anything terrible, and tell him he is a caring, attractive, funny and bright person who deserves better. Then just say that you don’t want to hear about it any more. That way, you can express both your admiration and disgust.
Then just stop. Try to avoid being alone with him for a while, so that he doesn’t have any opportunities to confide in you. If he sends you a whiny text about this girl ignoring him at a party, respond that you don’t want to talk about her since she’s so not worth his time. Then say nothing. Be honest about the situation without revealing your feelings. If you’re blunt while also affirming that he’s great, he will get the message, ideally with his feelings unhurt.
When you feel the time is right, talk with him about your feelings. Again, don’t wait too long to tell him, just until he stops trying to confide in you. When you say that you have always been attracted to him, it’s important to say that you waited to avoid confusing him. Be prepared for a possible rejection. Sometimes a person will pigeonhole you into a friendship and refuse to open themselves up to your feelings. However, I’m one to believe that it is always better to bring these things into the open, no matter how it affects your previous relationship. Get yourself out of this sticky situation, then have the courage to give yourself a chance.