“I’m in love with my best friend, but he gives me mixed signals”

I have known this guy M since 2010, and we have been friends since. However, we did move away for a few years and both recently moved back to the same city, so our contact has been off and on for a long time.

Earlier this year in April, we started meeting up with one another, and I have always thought he was a good-looking man, but after seeing him this time, I was very attracted to him in a way I had not been before when we first met back in 2010. Anyways, since April we have started seeing each other regularly — hanging out and going out once or twice a week — and have gotten very close. We completely trust each other, we discovered we have a lot in common and expect the same thing out of relationships.

One day we were hanging out watching a movie, and he started holding my hand, so I was really excited, because I was thinking “holy crap he must have feelings for me.” Since then, we have been cuddling, and he’s started showing me a lot of affection. Sometimes I stay overnight and we cuddle and sleep. We however have never been sexual. He has kissed me on the face and playfully bit me on the neck once. When we cuddle, he touches my hips, so to me, that is more than just friendly, right?

I am just frustrated, because I have told him that I care for him more than a friend, and he told me he did, too, but he has this crazy past and is thinking about moving back to be closer to his mother on the west coast (and he moved away from the west coast because he had a substance abuse problem and since he has been clean).

So he was said something like, “I don’t know what to tell you ’cause what are you going to do if I move?” Which hurt deeply, and I don’t know if I can continue like this. I have put so much time into him, and even had taken care of him while he was hurt and could hardly move for 2 weeks. We do have an age difference, and I asked if that bothered him and he told me no. I know he doesn’t feel like he is where he should be in life and feels bad about that a lot. What should I do?

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4 thoughts on ““I’m in love with my best friend, but he gives me mixed signals”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Try a long distance relationship with him. If you work out in a year then you can figure out the details of moving, getting a new job, ect.

  2. Dennis Hong says:

    To be blunt, I don’t see any mixed signals here. It sounds to me like he’s making it pretty clear that he’s not interested romantically. He’s just trying to be nice about it by offering excuses, because he doesn’t want to come right out and say that he’s not interested, and you’re interpreting that as him possibly being interested.

    I could be wrong, of course, so take this with a grain of salt. I’m just familiar with this type of behavior, and it doesn’t usually bode well.

  3. DOMENICA STATLER says:

    Thank you for responding to my letter and I realized that I didn’t make myself clear enough which I apologize hahaha I would like to add a few more details to kind of clear it up a bit. He has always been a shoulder for me to cry on, and we do have a special bond because he understand somethings that I have gone through that know one else has been able to empathize with because they have not gone through it. I trust him with my life and he has protected me on several occasions. I myself have not been addicted to drugs and I am very concerned that he would if he went back to the west coast which he and I have discussed….this concerns him as well. I know he isn’t were he wants to be with his life cause he has lost a lot of years. He has gotten clean before which had lasted a number of years before he started abusing drugs again after a few tragedies. He doesn’t have a history of domestic abuse. I would never move to the west coast and he knows it, I have no desire to go there. I am currently working and going to college. I would never endanger my future to be with a man no matter how much I loved him although it would absolutely break my heart. I have struggled for so long to get my life stable after several set backs that were out of my control. This past weekend I did tell him I loved him and that I understand he isn’t sure what he wants to do but I accepted that is just how things are. He told me he loved me as well and said that he needs to figure things out to get his life straight which is his responsibility. Once again I am sorry I wasn’t very clear. I didn’t mean to be so emotional. I was so distraught at the time cause of over thinking. Thank you again for answering. I really appreciate it.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      No apologies! Thank you for following up and clarifying.

      It sounds like you’re dealing with this pretty rationally, so I do wish you best of luck figuring out your situation. No matter how it ends up, as long as you’re looking out for yourself first and foremost, I think that’s the most important thing you can do.

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