Found someone to start over with but she wants to be “a friend”

I’m a widower. I was married to a wonderful woman and when she passed it took many years for me realize I was tired of being sad, depressed and lonely. So I made some changes. I spruced up, lost some weight and tried the online dating bit. I just couldn’t seem to make a go of it so I hired a match maker firm and was referred to several nice ladies. The people at the firm assured me that since there were many more widows than widowers I would have not a problem finding someone. As I said the ladies I met were nice and of a similar age but they all acted as if they were 20 years older. I was looking for a companion I could have fun with, develop a relationship with and these gals weren’t interested. I was beginning to get depressed all over again.
THEN I went to an exotic auto show to exhibit my car and this lovely young lady who was interested in it dropped by. We hit it off immediately so we stood and talked for good while. Then she wanted to go look at the other cars and left. Dummy me – I didn’t get her name or number and it was a big show and I thought I’d never see her again. But, mirable dictu she showed back up and we talked until the show ended. I was smitten and although I’m older I think she was also. We had breakfast together the next day and then spent the rest of the day getting to know each other better. I know I had a glorious day and she certainly appeared to also.
She lives a 4 hour drive away and so I set out to attempt a long distance romance. I’d go and visit and we’d spend the weekend together. Whenever she first sees me the smile on her face is one of tremendous happiness or else she’s one hell of an actress. We always had a ball together. Since I’m open and honest and I don’t play games I let her know that she made me seriously happy. Looking back on it maybe this was a mistake for I feel it was around then she first mentioned this “I just want to be friends” idea. I don’t understand.
I want to take our relationship to the next level. We have lots in common and we enjoy each others company. I’m certain I’ve treated her well cause when I was married I learned a lot and without bragging too much I was a good husband. Working on a relationship is second nature to me now but to do that I need this gal to either let me get closer. Either that or else tell me it’ll never work and turn me loose. The second option is hateful but I’m not getting any younger and I need to get on with my life.
So if any of you good people know how I might induce her to get over this friends idea I would love to hear your ideas.
Thanks for everything in advance.

10 thoughts on “Found someone to start over with but she wants to be “a friend”

  1. Happy Pants says:

    [You can try to woo her and give her a list of a million reasons you should be together, but the bottom line is that if she doesn’tfor whatever reason that isyou should move on. If you can keep her as a friend, if you’re capable of maintaining a platonic friendship without harboring feelings for her or resenting her, then great; but generally that’s incredibly hard to do, especially when you’ve already expressed how you feel. Plus, like you sad, you’re not getting any younger and you need to get on with your life.

    Sorry I don’t have any advice on how to win her over; I really believe that you can’t make someone like you, and that it’s better to cut your losses and move on than spend time pining for someone who may never develop feelings for you.

  2. Solstice says:

    [I agree with Happy Pants, you can’t make her want to be with you. She might be hesitant because it would be a long distance relationship, or for any other number of reasons. Just be honest with her and tell her how much you enjoy her company, how well you get along, and that you want a real relationship with her, not just a platonic one. If she isn’t into the idea, then you might as well move on, unless you feel you can deal with just being platonic friends. Unfortunately there’s no real way to convince her, but just be honest and maybe she’ll have changed her mind by the time you bring it up.

  3. Kelly says:

    [“Either that or else tell me it’ll never work and turn me loose. “

    She told you that she just wants to be friends. You’ve been turned loose. Get on with your life.

  4. resullins says:

    [I agree with Karlos… put a puppy in it, and you’ll have women falling all over you.

    But seriously, it seems as if you’re stuck in the friend zone… and that’s a REALLY hard place to get out of. I would keep her as a friend, but you can’t try to lead her to love you, she won’t. If she truly makes you happy, enjoy her company, but don’t be at her beck and call, because she will most likely take advantage of your affections.

    I think that maybe you’ve gotten more out of this relationship than you think though. It seems to me as if you’ve given up on giving up, which is the best possible outcome in your situation. Use what you’ve learned, that there are wonderful women out there, that you can meet them without the help of payed professionals, and that you truly DO enjoy spending time with people.

    Learn your lessons, tell her you’re ok being friends, and go out and meet people! I literally got thrown off a horse this weekend, so forgive the cliche, but get back in the saddle, man!

    Also, thank you sincerely for your erudite explanation of your problem. And what kind of car is it? I like cars…

  5. Dave Jag says:

    [It’s kind of like High School all over again, isn’t it? But first: Kudos on being a good husband and I’m very sorry for your loss. The fact that you’re not passed out under a bar stool right now speaks of your inner strength and resolve; and that is exactly what will get you through this episode.
    I don’t fully agree with the “You can’t make somebody like you” comment, and I have the wife of 20+ years to prove it! Whenever someone puts you front & center in their world and starts pushing all the right buttons and bringing unexpected joy to your life, it is hard not to have at least a change of heart towards them.
    However, here are the risks: If you “go for broke” with this girl, you may risk losing her completely. The upshot of that is you get to leave the game knowing you gave it 100%… hence, no regrets, and you can move on without baggage. The flip side is, you have “a forever friend” who will eventually only end up calling you on rainy days and telling you about how awful her latest boyfriend is treating her.
    If my heart was even 90% sure about this person, I know what I’d do. 😉

    Please follow up sometime and let us know how things turned out!

  6. Maracuya says:

    [Sounds to me like she’s trying to be as honest as possible with you. It’s not that far-fetched that she could really like you just as a friend. If she said that explicitly, then I would try to keep dating around. I personally don’t like being pursued when I’ve told someone no. She may not be ready at this time. You mentioned she was younger than you, so she may not feel ready to settle down and knows that as a widower you probably would like to do that soon. I think it’s in your best interest to look elsewhere.

  7. MargieCharles says:

    [I could definitely see how you would be confused, because she seems to be sending mixed signals. She’ll spend tons of time with you and allow you to come visit, but just wants to be friends? Is something getting lost in translation? Did you guys have a clear discussion on where you see the two of you heading?

    Everyone else is completely right that you can’t make her want to be in a relationship with you. But she doesn’t seem like someone you want to be “just friends” with, so I’d have a final talk with her. Tell her you enjoy her company, but you have plenty of friends and are looking for a romantic partner. If she decides that’s what she wants, then great! If she just wants to be friends, then I don’t know how she could be any clearer and at least you’ll get some closure and can move on.

  8. karlos says:

    [Yeah sadly there’s no way to make a woman want you. However. Dude you own an exotic car! Keep heading to those shows to show that baby off and you’ll find someone in no time.

    As for this girl, if you truly enjoy spending time with her. Keep at it there’s nothing wrong with having more friends.

  9. Dennis Hong says:

    [To be perfectly blunt, it sounds like the amazing marriage you once had could be coloring your interpersonal relationships at this point. I do believe that people who have loved before can love again, but I also wonder if you’re projecting the relationship you previously had, and that’s why you’re feeling way more of a connection than she is.

    Either way, like the others said, there simply isn’t any way you can make someone feel romantically for you. I think you just have to accept that she only wants to be a friend. Sorry.

  10. LMcMack says:

    [OK I’m going to be the one that doesn’t read the comments before posting, so sorry if I am repeating anything.

    Basically, she said she just wants to be friends. That is a VERY clear signal. Forget all the other signals – I assume that she met you, really liked you, gave you time and companionship to see if you were someone she could be romantic with. Guess what? She’s not feeling it. Her “mixed signals” are simply because she probably DID see potential there. And for whatever reason, she’s not experiencing the same chemistry you are. There really isn’t anything you can do in this situation.

    BUT. The silver lining here is that you put yourself out there – you found that there ARE nice girls that interest you. You found happiness in spending a short time with someone. So all is not lost. Take what you got out of this, and use it to your advantage. This was simply the boost you needed to get out of the doldrums and realize that you can still find love out there.

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