Uncomfortable With Friendship That Has Turned Into A Dating Relationship

Published: November 04, 2013
Dear Uncomfortable With Friendship That Has Turned Into A Dating Relationship,

So I am a girl in 11th grade and I have had a nice guy best friend who is in a grade younger than me. We talk about nearly everything and I really care about him. Last year he really wanted to date me and I wasn't interested. So I told him that I didn't want to be in a relationship, an if that wasn't bad enough, I got into a relationship with a girl maybe 2 weeks later. He was mad and hurt so we had a falling out for a couple months post my denial. Then we seemed fine, over the summer we really didn't talk but that didn't bother me too much. And at the beginning of this school year it was as if nothing happened. Except for when we texted it seemed to me as if he was still flirting. Sayin cute little things like, "Hey there beautiful," and "there's the wonderful girl!" Every time I would get a text from him I would smile and blush, we could talk about how it was rough being single and what shit happened during our bad relationships in the past. It was open and easy to talk to him and with the flirting I was almost seeing a trend. About 3 weeks ago while I was dying my hair me and my mom were talking and having a good time, she was asking me about who I was texting and I told her that I was texting *Ryan and an ex of mine. So we were talking about how nice he was and how considerate and kind he had been lately. Now I'm one of 3 siblings and I was the only single one, had been since mid- June. And I had been so lonely and everything. I have anxiety and depression and he had been such a help and I thought, " you know what? Why not?" And I decided to ask if the offer from last year still stood I was interested now. Now I guess he had never been flirting and it wasn't even on his radar but he said he'd have I think about it. They next day after school he told me we could try it. So we've been together for the past 3 weeks and it's been rough, with drama an rumors and his insecurity and my thoughts but lately I felt like everything was A-O.K. Yesterday I was at his house from about 3:45-11pm and we had a fun time, we watched some Netflix and ate Chinese food and had a very nice time. Now as a side note 3 of my previous relationships have been strictly physically oriented and I have done things that I regret and do not want to do again for a while because of how hurt I have been in the past. And *Ryan treats me like a princess, I think he would move heaven and earth for me simply because I am quote, "the girl of his dreams". That is what makes this so hard. So I fell asleep on him from about 8:45-10:30 and he was fine with that. His just let me lay on him and he just pet my hair and face while I slept quietly. Before I ha to leave I was still a bit groggy but he started to kiss me and normally, as I had told him kissing in private was fine. And we had never French kissed in the past because it still felt awkward for me (I mean come on, he was my best friend). So anyways a peck was ine but he prolonged the kiss and I felt very uncomfortable. I could feel him trying to open his mouth and I would NOT open mine. It felt almost as if I was kissing my brother or something. (Now making out has NEVER been an issue in the past for me, normally I loved kissing my boyfriend/girlfriend but this is different.) I haven't told him any of this because I know he is very self-critical and I really really care about him an I would hate to hurt him AGAIN. So I really don't know what to do, I know he deserves to know. And I feel the need to tell him as soon as I can rather than leading him on... Help. Please. Any advice. *Changed name

Dear Uncomfortable With Friendship That Has Turned Into A Dating Relationship,

The first thing TeenHealthFX would like you to consider is if you are sure this relationship is not going to work or you think you just need some time to see where things go given that you are transitioning a friendship into a dating relationship. Whichever one you think it is, it is important to communicate that to this person. Depending on how you feel you could say something like, “I don’t want to be hurtful to you, but I’m seeing that our dating sounded good in theory, but now that it’s become a reality I’m just seeing that it’s too hard a transition for me and I think we worked better as friends.” Or “Going from a friendship to dating is feeling like a harder transition then I thought it would. I’m curious to see where this could go, but I’m not totally sure about it – so I hope you can be patient with me while we continue with our relationship and I sort out how I am feeling.”

You can’t promise how you will feel. The best you can do is to communicate where you are at to the person involved so that person is not left in the dark. You can be sympathetic that you didn’t intend any of this to be hurtful, but you also can’t be responsible for that person’s feelings and reactions. The best you can do is to be kind, honest, respectful and considerate in how you approach him with this.

Given that your past relationships have been more physical in nature, do you think it is possible that there is something about being in an emotionally connected relationship with someone who is kind and loving that may feel uncomfortable for you? If so, you might consider discussing this with a trusted adult, such as a parent or even a school counselor or private therapist. It may just be that the chemistry is not there between you and this friend. However, if you feel there is a general issue in terms of letting loving people get close to you, then that would be something to address with a reputable mental health professional such as a clinical psychologist or clinical social worker.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.