The Friend-Zone: A Tough Place To Escape
"But we would never talk about it afterwards because we were best friends."
This week, Doc Love, author of "The System," coaches a reader on the hard truths of falling for your best friend.
I’ve fallen hard for a close friend of mine, Ashley. We are both in our early twenties (she’s a year older than me). We have a lot in common so we spent quite a bit of time together and I began to have feelings for her. Over the past 10 months we’ve become extremely close, to the point where we know each other better than anyone else. There were times when we would end up sleeping at the same apartment after a party and we would get a little romantic, but we would never talk about it afterwards because we were best friends.
I finally got the courage up to tell Ashley that I had strong feelings for her and that I cared about her, and she said she felt the same way. The only problem was that she wasn’t ready for a long-term commitment, even though I was. I told her that I understood and we continued hanging out together.
Then suddenly Ashley started to act differently. I found out that she had been seeing another guy, and even though we weren’t dating, it still hurt a lot. We talked one night and I explained to her that I understood she didn’t want something long-term right now, but that I couldn’t wait forever. She said she knew it wouldn’t last long with this other guy, and that she was willing to hurt him, but not me, because she cared about me more. She said she didn’t want to hurt me by continuing something that she wasn’t ready for and that she didn’t want to ruin something special that we could have in the future.
Doc, what are my chances of stealing Ashley away from this other guy since he doesn’t have much time in with her? She continues to tell me that she loves me and cares about me more than anyone she has ever met. She said she knows we will end up together for a long time at some point. But I don’t know how much longer I can hold on. I do love Ashley, and there is no one I care about more. She is my best friend, and I can’t imagine going on without her in my life in some way. Yet I know the only way I will ever get over her if I can’t have her is by letting go of our friendship and pushing her out of my life until I feel like I can handle it. This is the hardest decision I have ever had to make, and I know letting go would probably mean the end of our friendship. What do you suggest I do?
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