Ask Minda Honey: He Says We’re Just Friends,
 But He Doesn’t Act Like It

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Dear Minda,

I’ve been involved with this guy for about a year now. From the outside looking in you would think we were dating (it felt like we were dating), but that was just me being attached. Recently, he told me that he only sees me as a friend, and that he doesn’t feel any feelings stronger than [friendship]. I was pretty hurt, because how can you spend a whole year with someone and not gain feelings? Now, I feel like the only way I would completely push him out of my life is if there was potential for another [relationship] to happen. I hate being alone, and I really enjoy the nights we spend together, even if we are just friends. I need to find someone else to fill up that time.
—Time4More

Hi Time4More,

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Thank you for writing in! Girl, you’ve got you a fuckboy. Look, I don’t know how someone can “spend a whole year with someone and not gain feelings.” You are not the only one confused by that one. That to me is a total mystery, but sure OK, yeah maybe it’s possible, even if I don’t have the answers. But I wouldn’t call that person a friend. I can’t imagine someone who can see you’re falling in love with them and knows they don’t feel the same way, not telling you immediately. Not being upfront and honest with you. Because being respectful of someone’s feelings is basically the foundation of friendship. And if he sees you as a friend, but isn’t treating you like a friend, then what is even the point?

One of my besties is a married woman with two kids under the age of 5 and a demanding job. Sometimes, she forgets we have plans. Or something comes up with the kids. Or shit goes off the rails at work. Or she’s just too tired. But you know what? She tells me as soon as possible, because she respects my time. If she cancels last minute, or forgets we have plans, she apologizes because she respects my feelings. If she’s too tired, she’s honest with me, because she’s human and trusts me to be understanding. And when I really need her, even when I don’t think I do, and think I’m going through something I can handle alone, she drops everything and shows up on my doorstep. Why? Because she’s a friend. She’s been in my life for almost 20 years and will be around for another 20 years. Think of your best friend — would they be in your life if they treated you the way this person treats you? Would you ever consider treating anyone the way this dude’s treating you?

None of those men from my 20s whom I let treat me the way your “friend” treats you are still around T4M. I gave them passes when they canceled on me last minute. I forgave them when they bruised my feelings with harsh words and dismissive looks. I tried to demand nothing of them while giving them everything I had to give. All I did was make it easy for them to kill time with me, while they waited for a woman they could actually love to come along, so they could leave me with even less than the less-than-nothing love I was trying to survive on. T4M, just thinking about it breaks my heart for younger me and for you.

I know you hate being alone, and you’re going to try to stay with this dude until you meet a new one, but he’s draining your energy. You ever sprained your ankle? It’s so much harder to get around while you’re in pain. The doctor says to stay off it, but you keep walking on it because being still is so hard. But if you’d just let it heal, you could get on with things much faster. It’s the same thing with a hurt heart. This man is causing you pain, and you’re out here trying to function in the world while love injured. That’s not leaving you much energy for you to find the right kind of love. Being alone would give you time to recover and make sure you’re in a healthy place emotionally as you seek out your next relationship. The longer you keep this “friend” in your life that isn’t much of a friend to you, the longer it’s going to take for you heal from the pain and the more scar tissue you’re going to have on your heart, making it harder for you to let the right person in. So be a true friend to yourself and leave this person.

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