Real Live College Guy Joel: BFF, BF or Just Confused?

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 been best friends with this guy for two years. Last spring, we started casually making out, but this semester he actually took me out on a couple dates. We have the best time together and there isn't anybody who knows me better. He started to become moody and would be all over me one week and not talking to me the next... and I got confused. I told him he needed to decide whether he would jump in and seriously start dating me or if he was going to step back, but either way he had to decide. He decided not to continue dating me but hasn't said one word since to me since this happened a couple weeks ago. I don't know what his issue is, and even worse than not being able to date him is not being able to talk to my best friend. What do I do? — Former BFF at Barnard

Former BFF,

This state of limbo must be incredibly hurtful for you, especially because this is someone with whom you have a long platonic history. It sounds like your feelings are complicated, and it’s great that you were able to take a stand despite your emotions. You and this guy have been in a weird shade of gray between friendship and romance. You recognized the situation, and you attempted to resolve it. That is so incredibly brave of you, but there is little you can do now. The ball is in his court, and he is going to have to make a decision before you do anything else.

His bipolar behavior shows he is as confused as you are. He had to make a choice whether to be just your friend or something more. This is a decision he alone has to make, and although you miss him you can’t interfere with what must be a painful process for him. You’ve done all you can for now, with great intelligence. He needs space to figure things out, and the continued break in communication may make him miss you. I understand the silence seems unbearable, but he must feel more comfortable not exposing his vulnerability.

Don’t say anything to him. He may seem irreplaceable, but you do need to accept that you may lose him forever as both a friend and romantic interest. What you need to do in this interval is find friends who you can spend time with and share your frustration. Don’t sit around waiting for his call; go out and meet other guys. It may seem shallow, since you two are so close, but you need to take your mind off of this. You seem like a strong person, and you can be prepared for whatever this guy does. Go out and live your own life. If he wants to be a part of it, he needs to make the next move.

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