I Know He Said, "Just Friends," But...

Dear Dating Coach,

I think I'll go nuts if I don't get some sense knocked into me! I met this guy at work and realized that I was interested and wanting to know more, so I decided to make the first move and asked him to a movie. He agreed, but right away said that because we worked together, he didn't want our relationship to go any further than friendship (by the way, he paid). I was embarrassed, but appreciated his honesty.

Since that conversation, we have spent the better part of the past three months together. He's invited me to meet his family, he's met mine, we've gone to a few movies, he's made it a point to introduce me to his friends, he's cooked for me, we've gone out numerous times...etc. He's even the one who calls to make all of the plans. Recently he quit his job (so we no longer are co-workers). However, he hasn't made any sort of move, so should I assume that he is just nice and wasn't ever really interested? I think you should also know that he expressed an interest in ANOTHER co-worker of ours! I mean, what is he DOING? Is it actually possible that he could spend this much time with me and have no romantic interest? If he has no interest, can I remain his friend while suppressing my feelings and still be emotionally healthy?
--Friend In Need of Information

Dear Friend In Need of Information--

Let's see if I've got it right. You and this guy work together and have become friends. He said UPFRONT that he didn't want to get involved. The reason given is that you were working together. Since then, you two have spent a lot of time together and have seemed to really enjoy each other. However, he has not made any attempt to move the relationship to another level. So, his behavior has been consistent with what he stated regarding his intentions when you first suggested going out.

Maybe the question should be; What are YOU doing? He's a really nice guy, you have become friends, he has never been dishonest or led you on in any way, however, you now feel more, but it appears that he does not?

If you feel you NEED to know what he wants and if there is any chance for romantic feelings to develop on his part, the ball is really now in your court. I recommend that you have a frank discussion with him about what you are feeling and ask him where his feelings for you are. You don't have to offer specifics about your feelings. You can be open-ended and begin by commenting about the time you have spent together and what good friends you have become. You could also say something like, I've really enjoyed our time together and value having you in my life. See what he says. Share a little more if necessary to draw him out. Make sure you read the non-verbal signals he gives you, these will tell you a lot. And be prepared for getting a response you may not want to hear. That being said, anything is possible, all you have to do is ask.

(from May 2007)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"Falling in Love too Fast?"
List of more
"Attraction and chemistry"

"Do Women Need to Look Up to Men?"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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