Q. Hey Hannah, I have been wanting to ask you a couple relationship questions for a while now, I just keep chickening out because I am afraid of the answers. Basically the first question is this: If a woman you care about and love tells you she just wants to be your friend…is it because she really means that or…is it because you just don’t meet all her qualifications as boyfriend material? Also, are you able to be friends with a man and still be attracted to them at the same time?
To give you some background, our relationship started as friends, as she was married, but I began developing serious feelings for her. When she divorced, I revealed my feelings, which is when she let me know she just wanted to be friends. And now she’s beginning a relationship with a new guy…and of course it is killing me!
I feel you are the one who will give me a straight, truthful, knowledgeable answer on what I should do.
A. Well my friend, the straight answer is: she’s not interested in pursuing a relationship with you. Now, I don’t necessarily think you don’t meet all her boyfriend “qualifications”. I think all of us have dated people on all ends of the spectrum; people that were seemingly everything we were looking for, and people that met none, or very little of our “qualifications”, yet the attraction was so strong we couldn’t help but jump their bones, and as a result, jumped on an emotional roller coaster ride that usually left us feeling more sick than satisfied. Attraction is a wonderful, yet often strange thing. I think you’ll find my article: Are you a prairie vole or a montane vole? rather informative when it comes to that topic.
As for your question about whether a woman can be friends with a man she’s attracted to, not really. I think when people have friends of the opposite sex, it’s because there is no physical attraction, or, they’re just acquaintances, meaning they don’t see them or talk to them enough to worry about the attraction they feel for them. I also want to point out that there is a difference between finding someone attractive and being attracted to them. Again, I am sure you have dated, or had sex with, or just been attracted to women that weren’t necessarily empirically attractive, yet you were drawn to them, even if you couldn’t quite put your finger on why, and vice versa. Again, attraction is often a strange thing.
What should you do? Well, since she’s started seeing someone else, and your friendship with her is hurting you more than helping you, you should stop being friends with her and move on. I’m sure you have plenty of other friends, and I really believe, from my own personal experiences, that these types of emotionally draining relationships only prevent you from being completely open to finding something new. Besides, you never want to be convincing someone of why they should date you, or be the guy that she’s inadvertently stringing along because she likes the free dinners and attention. You also never want to be the runner-up, or the back-up plan; the guy she decides she’s OK with ending up with because she couldn’t find anyone better. No, you want to find a woman that meets you, falls in love (or lust) with you, and can’t imagine being with anyone else; at least not for the first few years when the fire’s burning brightest:)