What should you do when a friend wants more than friendship, like romance?

United States
December 16, 2007 6:14pm CST
I've always wondered how you should handle the situation where a really good friend suddenly turns the tables on you and wants more, like a romantic relationship. How should you handle something like that? If you're involved with someone already, shouldn't they see that and just keep their peace? Do you think that two people can ever be friends again, when one of them wants more than just friendship? What happens to the friendship once that line is crossed? Personally, I think it would make the situation kind of awkward and I'd feel uncomfortable hanging out with the other person in a casual sense, knowing that they wanted more that I couldn't offer. How would something like that affect a friendship for you?
3 people like this
18 responses
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
17 Dec 07
Hello BeautyQueen. This is an excellent discussion. I've actually been in both situations! On the positive side, I made a friend several years ago who has since become my very best friend in the whole world. Since I was single at the time, he and I thought it a nice (and not awkward - lol) transition into a dating relationship. It was as smooth as could be, and we're both happy. We've also been dating for almost four years. There are a few things I noticed, however. Sometimes now that we're dating, we will notice that we don't really get along like we did when we had the label of "best friends." Now that we're dating, I guess we sometimes feel like we're obligated to spend time with each other, which isn't really the case. We should want to spend time together. Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to vent all of my relationship issues - lol!!! For the most part, we are very happy together. I just think it's so important that if you're single and considering dating your good friend, talk everything over with him first. Make sure you're both being honest with each other. I believe every single dating relationship needs to start out with friendship first. Some say that you marry your best friend! On the other hand, if you're in a relationship and you have an old friend hitting on you, that's not so good! I've been in this similar situation also. Since I've been dating for almost four years, I've had a couple old friends come around flirting and everything. I wanted to scream, "I'm already taken!!" But of course, they already knew. They were just denying that fact. It is awkward because it's like I want to still be friends with those people, but they're making it stupid by having weird feelings towards me! (I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.) The only solution sometimes is to just let all your old friends cool off for a while. You don't have to break off the friendship altogether, but if they aren't going to respect the fact that you're already dating someone, then they've got more problems than you want to deal with. I think the main reason why (guys in particular) old friends can come around flirting again and everything even when you're in a relationship is because maybe they think you really wanted to date them in the first or maybe they feel like you're going to break it off with your current relationship...or maybe they just don't want it to work because they're jealous of your happiness! A lot of my good friends would wish better for me. No person is going to meet everyone's expectations. If you're dating someone, there will always be someone who doesn't like them. I've experienced this also. Take a deep breath, step back, evaluate the situation. If you're really happy with who you're dating, get rid of all the other losers. If that person (the one you're not dating) is a true friend, they will be supportive of your current relationship. If it doesn't end up working out for you, that old friend will be there to say, "What do you need?" NOT "I told you so!" (As in, I told you the relationship wasn't going to work so I could be the one to date you.) Your biggest defense against old friends who suddenly start seeing you in a romantic way is to give it time. It could be a passing fancy, if you know what I mean. It could be something deep and strong. Even if you are in what you consider a serious relationship, if a true friend is having romantic feelings toward you, maybe there's a reason for it. The last thing you want to do is lose your significant other and some good friends! I hope that helps you.
• United States
18 Dec 07
Thank you very much for taking the time to cover so many angles of this discussion. I would not have thought about all of that. I guess the situation can be more complicated than what one would assume on face value. Yes, I've had the similar situation too about dating and being involved with my best friend. And, yes, it's best to marry one's best friend. And, I did! But, it's such a slippery slope, you know. I just assumed that me and him would be on friendly terms all the time since we are best friends, but it does not always end up that way. I guess that best friends put on a brave face for each other, while partners or spouses let it all hang out. (so to speak, LOL!) When you date or marry your best friend, you have to deal with the good parts and the real parts, which are not always so good. But, love covers most of that up anyway. Thanks for dropping by. You added so much value to the conversation.
2 people like this
@JJ4Ever (4696)
• United States
7 Jan 08
Thank you so much for best response. I'm glad I was able to cover so many various thoughts and ideas on this discussion. It was definitely a pleasure to participate! I'm glad you've found love in your life and that you were able to marry your best friend. What a wonderful thing! I appreciate your insight as well while I read your comment. I've been learning so much about relationships lately. I'm not married...yet...but hopefully this summer I will truly know what it's like to marry my best friend. Thanks again, Beauty Queen, and keep up the good work!
@diillu (5128)
17 Dec 07
In most of the cases when a friend want more than a friendship then it's kind of end of the friendship. Cause no matter how close you were, it just seems impossible to hang out with that friend again after knowing their feelings. The situation wouldn't be same again. It would be really awkward to see that person again when you can do nothing at all.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 07
So true.
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
17 Dec 07
I think that if 2 people have a strong friendship and it takes a romantic turn that they can be friends again, but it might take time for any wounds to heal. If only 1 is interested in romance, again, in a strong friendship they can still be just as close -- perhaps closer. But it does take time for the sting of rejection to go away.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 07
Yes, I agree. And, having to reject a friend is very painful for both people. Thank you for your insight.
1 person likes this
@ozzie13 (177)
• Australia
17 Dec 07
Yes, i have had this problem. Depending how good a friendship you have and how long they have been around, you need to make the decision if you are going to keep the friendship or dissappear out of awkwardness, i have done both before. I think it is better to be nice and not make them feel bad, it sucks for me cause i am usually quite friendly and flirty and have had lots of boyfriends, so when one goes all my friends try again, most of them i just laugh it off and they know it never gonna happen.
• United States
18 Dec 07
You have a very clever way of dealing with the situation. Nice to get your point of view. I would not have thought to laugh it off. I'm such a serious person. Thanks!
• Philippines
18 Dec 07
yeah! i know that feelings, because even me i have a friend from jamaica,we are good friends.But one day he told me that he wants me,and he loves me so much.but before i dont have a feeling to him,i mean i love him as a friend only,but later on i appretiate all the good things that he done to me and i feel very well everytime i saw and talk to him.and now i know that im fall in love with him.now im sure that i really love him.thats my story that i can share to you,thats my experience.i hope you like it even it is a short story, lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Dec 07
I think how you handle it depends on how you feel about that person. If you want it to move to a romantic level, then its fine, but if you don't you should tell them. I personally think they could be friends again, but it would make it kind of awkward for both of them.
1 person likes this
• Kottayam, India
17 Dec 07
I want somebody to love but nobody comes forward and say I love you.
1 person likes this
@rain07 (132)
• Philippines
17 Dec 07
I've encountered this situation a lot of times. Most of my guys friends confessed that they had learned to love me. For most of them, I had explained that I could only offer them a pure friendship and nothing more. They understood me and up to now, they remained to be my good friends. One of them even became my bestfriend and the other made me the godmother of his kid. So I guess, what ever happens, you just have to keep an open mind and you should communicate your feelings weel so that you won't have to deal with the agony of losing a friend.
1 person likes this
@UAkshay (72)
17 Dec 07
i dont think that romance comes to real friends... (If they really are), unless like you tell, if they are/were together for the same moment
1 person likes this
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
17 Dec 07
If I'm already involved with someone, well there's no way anyone can cheat her way into my heart, friend or not. If I'm unattached, then the friendship shouldn't be an issue. In fact some of the best relationships started out as friendship. It's a simple question of whether I'm attracted to her or not.
1 person likes this
@subha12 (18453)
• India
17 Dec 07
Look i have got the same experience. Its really awkard, as i found it to be. Once I really had a good friend. we used to hang around as friends. all were so nice. I knew he had a GF but no problem as we were friends. He had a breakup with his GF . After few days, he proposed to me. I told him its a rebound relationship. He was not ready to admit. he told me he got the same feelings when I first met him. as he had GF he was confused and could not tell me.He kept on persuing. I decided to stay as friends only, he also consented but i found his showing of proximity had changed. he used to hold hand or even tried to kiss. i did not let him. He used to told me that there is no problem as i am no onger his friend only, but his Love.I felt awkard and tried to find a new job so that i can leave that city.
• Philippines
17 Dec 07
I think it is a little of strange for the few days that he wanted more than friendship from you. But if you have more than friendship feelings for him then why not continue your relationship as friends and as lovers. I think there is nothing wrong with that. Atleast the two of you knows each other already. Being lovers is just like a friend plus more responsibility and commitment to each other.
1 person likes this
@ajinomoto23 (1057)
• Philippines
17 Dec 07
Looking for Love - a lover who is not a friend, a lover is like a book - know the cover and the content.
1 person likes this
• India
17 Dec 07
Hi beautyqueen26! I have been in similar situaions as well. But I have always known what I want in life. Any friend of mine would stay a friend only till I too have a romantic inclination. If your friend is not willing to respect your decision of not wanting anything more than friendship then I think he is not worthy of being your friend and ou should throw him out of your life. If your friend has respected your decision I don't see why you should feel awkward.
@arkaf61 (10882)
• Canada
17 Dec 07
Well, honestly if I can pretend I don't understand it and let it go at that until he gets the hint I prefer to do that. Sometimes that doesn't work and a direct approach and talk are the best solution. Sometimes it can happen that in a good friendship things can come out a bit mixed up and one might thing he/she feels more than friendship. SOmetimes they do to. As to what happens to that friendship, it depends on the friendship and the friend. It happened with me and one of my best friends, and when the pretending I didn't notice/understand didn't work we talked, got things out, and the friendship is still strong. Actually we just attended his wedding last summer. Sometimes loving as a friend can be confused with romantic love, it's easy to happen.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
17 Dec 07
All is Fair in Love and War! How good is a ,"really good friendship?" THis is something you, and only you can decide. You can't blame the "really good friend," for wanting More. This is what makes the world go round. Sure you can still be friends, sit down together and talk it over. You Can't blame the guy for trying! Lets face it, If he didn't try he'd be a wimp!(and you wouldn't want a wimp for a friend!)
@sharra1 (6342)
• Australia
17 Dec 07
It depends how you feel about that friend. My partner is my best friend. I think the best relationships start with friendship and if there is also romance then they grow. I have had relationships with friends who stayed friends when the relationship did not work out. I also like to remain friends with old lovers and have many times. I think it is a personal thing. If you are already involved with someone else and you do not want the friend to be more than a friend then talk to the person and explain. If they are truly a friend they will understand.
• United States
18 Dec 07
That is true. Thank you.
1 person likes this
• China
9 Jan 08
I had the experience, she is my classmate in senior high school, we kept in touch with each other when we studyed in different university. then I loved her and wanted more then usual friendship. she accepted my love, but our love couldn't went on. It is a pity I lost our friendship finally.