He felt love at first sight, but she sees him as just a friend

| 07/19/2011 | Comments (6)


Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I have a female friend who I have been friends with since about age 12. I am now 20 years old. I have been attracted to something about her since I met her. While what I like about her specifically is not crucially relevant to this question, it is notable that it is well beyond physical attraction. I know this girl MEANS something to me.

Anyway, my history with her was friends until about a year ago I told her how I felt, unfortunately she responded with the typical “friends” answer. I cannot honestly say I disagree that I would want to sacrifice my friendship with her in order for a relationship that might only last a month, however I cannot deny that my feelings are still strong for her even after being away at college for a year.

I recently heard that she has a boyfriend, a guy who happens to be someone I was relatively good friends with early in high school.

My question boils down to this, what can I do? I don’t want to ask, how can I make her love me, because that’s a ridiculous request. I just want to know what steps I can take to get me on the right track to her seeing me as more than a friend. I am sick of looking at her and saying “dammit, I should be with her!”

I am tired of being able to perfectly envision us together and how much sense it makes. Just tell me what to do. I think it says enough that I have been attracted to her for so long and even after the turn down, going away to school 1500 miles away for a year and not seeing her once during a break all the while her having a boyfriend, I still have feelings for her. Thank you for any help you can give.

A Broken Hearted Man

Ms. HeartBeat Responds:
This is one of those ‘half full, half empty” situations.

See, some people reading your letter would think “oh, how romantic! It was love at first sight when they were just children and he still loves her after all these years!” Then there are others that might think “wow, he sounds like a stalker or something! Doesn’t he realize when a woman says she just sees you as a friend that it means she likes you as a person but feels no buzz or heat or sexual attraction?”

I have a couple of suggestions that you can consider, being mindful that you may still not get the outcome that you want.

Idea #1:  Since she already has a boyfriend and you have nothing to lose, spruce yourself up by hitting the gym and getting some cuts. See about a new haircut and maybe a new outfit.  Do all you can to sex yourself up. If you wear glasses, try contacts or get some hot new frames. Do all you can to change your look (to look different from the way you usually do). That way when you see her next time you go home, you just might get her to look at you with new eyes.

By making yourself look more mature and “hot” she will see you as a grown man, not the kid she grew up with. But since she is involved with someone and may be in love with him, you have to prepare yourself for the possibility that may be as far as it goes.

Idea #2:  Put your cards on the table. This is the riskiest choice, but nothing beats a failure but a try! So when you do get to town, stop by for a visit or take her out for coffee and tell her what you have told me. She may be shocked, flattered, amused, horrified or welcome the revelation. But you won’t ever know how she feels or what she thinks unless you tell her what’s going on in your head and heart.

I am a firm believer in having the courage to say what you feel and clearing the path to the rest of your life. Once you tell her how you feel, you will either know FOR SURE that there is no hope with her  OR she will come over to your side.  Either way, and you can close that door of wishing and hoping and go forward in life with a woman you love that is willing and able to love you back.  This woman may or may not be her, however.

In either event, its time to buck up dude and make something happen here.  And remember, the goal is for you to know for sure how she feels. This clarity will at least allow you to stop dreaming of a future with a woman that has flatly said she is not interested in a romantic relationship with you.  But taking this courageous step may be the very thing you need to do to make your dreams come true.

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Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray," and "Why Vegan is the New Black" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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  1. eLLe85 says:

    Co-sign FamuRattler. I have to say I appreciate honesty above all else and like the two male posters stated–it is best to let someone know early on how you feel. But I do have to say on the flipside, I can’t tell you how disappointing it can be to be friends with a guy and genuinely like and appreciate that relationship, only for them to tell you they want more, or say negative things about every guy you date or lust after you. I like having friendships with men but for the most part I have to keep them at a distance because it almost never stays there. It just doesn’t seem to be worth it half of the time. I don’t believe those friendships can be genuine so I tend to cut them off early before they bloom these days.

    • FamuRattler85 says:

      Thanks and I agree that it is very disappointing for a guy whom you thought was your friend just ups and tells you that he wants more and/or speaks negative about every guy you’re either interested in or dating as if he knows everything about him. A guy I consider to be one of my best friends (who, by the way, ALSO “wants more”) told me that guys only “befriend” women with hopes that they will get together sometime in the future. Makes me feel as if they were never a friend at all.

      • BlackNarcissus says:

        I don’t think every guy befriends women with plans of having something more at some point. I befriend women who have similar interests and I like talking to. I think what happens is, when a guy is either afraid to approach a woman or knows he’ll get turned down by her, he’ll take the friendship route, in hopes that once she get’s to know him she’ll want something more. Which probably won’t happen.

        What’s frustrating for me with my friend is watching her go through failed relationship after failed relationship with guys who don’t care about her. Then when I’m dating someone, she complains that we never hang out, or talk anymore. She made it clear that she’s not physically attracted to me and doesn’t want a relationship with me. As a friend she can’t expect to talk almost every night and hang out all the time, especially when I’m seriously dating someone.

  2. BlackNarcissus says:

    I was in a similar situation, I had a friend I met in college, who I was very attracted to. We had similar interests, had a class together, hung out all the time, talked for hours, I even spent the night at her place a lot of times, slept on the sofa of course. It took me years to finally tell her how I felt, and she told me that I’m like a brother to her, which of course meant that she just wasn’t attracted to me. I got very angry at her wouldn’t return her calls, and avoided her for a while. I’d seen her date guys who she’d just met and noticed these guys weren’t constantly calling her, or spending a lot of time with her. That also made me angry, I felt like I deserved to be with her more than the guys she was dating. Anyway what I didn’t realize was that spending time with a woman, talking to her for hours won’t necessarily attract her. It’s definitely best to let a woman know as early as possible what your feelings are. If her response contains the words friend or brother, then you shouldn’t romantically pursue her anymore move on. There are plenty of women out here.

  3. majestic says:

    I had this situation. I met her when we teens, she moved next door to us. We became friends and I helped her get settle in high school. 5 years go by and I find I had developed strong feelings for her but for fear of destroying the friendship, I never told her and even hide my feelings from her. I later realized I was being naive for thinking she’d always be there and single when I was ready to tell her my feelings.

    Well I met a guy playing basketball at the local park one day. We played ball together nearly every day for a year, but we never went to each others house before. One day I invited my her to come watch me and my brother play basketball because we had some other park activities that were gonna jump off after the B-Ball game that day and I wanted to share the time with her (she had been single most of the recent 5 years). Well during the game the guy friend of mine decides he will go talk to her. They hit it off (behind my back of course) and started dating. Of course I was pissed but for fear of losing her friendship, I said nothing. My true feelings were mixed. I was mad, jealous but at the same time I wanted her to be happy, which she seemed to be. That was the most important thing to me.

    So about a year later I’m in the military and have to go on duty, so I’d be gone for a long time. We talk on the phone every day anyway, so she tells me one day that she is getting married to my guy friend and wanted to know if I could get base leave to be at her wedding. I was crushed because I knew he didn’t love her because we talked about his intentions and I knew what type of guy he was. Still I feared hurting her and kept quiet. I wasn’t able to go to the wedding because of military responsibilities.

    Anyway, they got married, were together for 1 year and had a kid. A year later he gets killed for being in those streets doing wrong. At the same time my uncle dies (a day before) and so I’m home and we are both grieving. Not such a good time to tell her how I felt about her. I hate to say it but I was glad he was dead (we had some other issues that had us feuding) but really felt bad for her as she had just lost her husband (no matter how bad of a husband he was).

    So now I’m moving back to the east coast and just gave up telling her how I felt. 5 years go by and finally I said what the hell and called her up and told her. We talked on the phone for about 5 hours (we did that regularly anyway). She was shocked when I told her soon as she answered the phone, but didn’t really say anything in response expect that she just saw me as a friend. So we continued to talk like we usually do and I didn’t pressure her any more. As I was about to hang up but before I could say bye, she says OK! I said OK what? “OK, let’s give it a try” was her response to me. She said I wasn’t her type and that she never considered dating me and didn’t see me in that fashion but she’d give us a try because she felt I proved I was a good guy. I was smiling ear to ear…LOL and I was extremely relieved. Although we had things keep us from making it a permanent thing, we never lost respect or love for each other and I still keep in contact from time to time. Life goes on and it ain’t gonna wait until your situation is right.

    So in my situation it worked for the better. Telling her was a major stress relief off of me. It didn’t destroy the friendship at all. My only regret is that I should have said something earlier…but then again, maybe it was just our years of maturity and time spent together that led her to saying yes. Had I said something earlier, she may have broken off our friendship. I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s not healthy to keep it to yourself. Tell her because the only way your feelings will subside or be reciprocated is if you tell her. Then live with the consequences…you need this in order to move on with the next chapter of your life, with or without her.

  4. FamuRattler85 says:

    I don’t want to provide false hope so I’m just going to tell it how it is. I am in a situation JUST LIKE this. I have a friend who has literally been in love with me for 10 years and he has tried and tried again to steer me in his direction but it ain’t hap’nin. Once guys make it into my friend zone, they don’t come out. It’s the point of no return. There many reasons why they a reason why they wound up in the FZ but the bottom line is that I’m just not feeling them like that. Every time my friend tries to persuade me to want him, it just pushes me further away. It can be quite irritating. So, my point is, if she has already told you that she isn’t interested, don’t continue trying to “make” her want you. I mean no disrepsect but just because you FEEL like you two should be together doesn’t mean it’s meant to be. If you continue pining over this woman, and holding on to false hope, you may miss out on the one who IS for you.

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