I'm having a bit of trouble with one of my male friends, I have a mate who I love dearly and I would never want to hurt him ever, but my friend came out to me recently that he loved me (he's been a close friend of mine since kindergarten). I told him I'm sorry but I would never cheat on my mate. He said it was ok and we're still close friends (not close as in really really close but close as in best friends) and we still hang out, but there's always that underlying feeling like he's still looking at me in “that way” like he really loves me and it sorta makes me uneasy. Am I just being a little bit too paranoid or should I say something? I still only think of him as a close friend and I don't wanna hurt him. Can you help me?
Sparkplug the Fox
* * *
Some people have trouble finding even one person to love them and might envy your quandry, but Papabear knows where you’re coming from. You’re afraid that, even though your friend said it was okay that you were loyal to your mate, he might not really mean it, and he is making eyes at you, trying to convey a message.
You might be right, though; it might just be in your head. If that’s the case, then that’s a signal that, subconsciously, you might want him to want you, since you are just imagining that he is giving you the look. Reading between the lines here (which is not easy), Papabear gets a sense that you are trying to convince yourself that you prefer loyalty to your mate over taking a relationship that goes back to kindergarten to the next level. (Be honest, didn’t that thought at least cross your mind?) In other words, Papabear supsects you love your long time friend, too, which, of course, makes you feel guilty (uneasy).
If this is the case, then you need to take a deep, long look into your own heart and decide what you really want, and, once decided, act upon it one way or the other. That is something Papabear can’t do for you.
If, on the other paw, it is NOT in your head and he IS making eyes at you and you truly DON’T want him as more than a friend, then this is a problem just waiting to boil over and explode into a very awkward situation, or worse. In that case, you need to bring someone else into the equation: your boyfriend. You should not keep this issue to yourself and the secretive glances of your friend. Talk to your boyfriend and tell him, honestly, what has happened and what your concerns are. He is involved in this situation, too, and needs to know about it. You are part of a couple, and a couple talks to each other and makes decisions together. Your boyfriend might bring insights into this that you had not even considered. Talk to him, come to a consensus, and then act accordingly.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.