You really like this guy…
But, for whatever reason, there’s no possibility of it ever becoming more.
Maybe he has a girlfriend. Maybe he’s an off limits co-worker. Maybe he’s told you, “I’m not in the right place in my life for a relationship.”
What should you do?
- Say, “Fine,” and keep your distance from him?
- Stay friends with him?
- Keep flirting strategically, hoping to win him over?
There’s no one right answer. It all depends on your situation.
So when is it best to keep your distance? When is it best to stay friends?
When is it best to keep your flirt on?
Let’s find out!
You should keep your distance if…
– He’s got a girlfriend.
If you really like a guy who’s already got a girlfriend, maintaining an appropriate distance is the respectful thing to do.
It’s hard to erase all signs that you have romantic feelings towards someone.
If you try to maintain a friendship with him, his girlfriend is going to sense that energy between you. She’ll get suspicious. It will make things uncomfortable all around.
Accept the situation and keep your distance.
– You can’t stop obsessing over him.
If you are half in love with this guy already…
And you can’t stop thinking about him…
And every time you see him you want him so much…
Then chances are he knows something is up.
Again, it’s very hard to hide the strong feelings you have for someone. We can generally tell when someone is highly attracted to us.
In this case, the distance is for you. It’s to help you cool down your feelings for him. His continued presence just serves to torment you further.
Taking a break from his company will help you reassess whether staying in contact with him makes you feel better or worse.
You should stay friends if…
– You’re good with boundaries.
If you’re the sort of person who can just be friends with someone, no matter how attractive they are, then go for it.
You’re able to transform those feelings of attraction into respect and admiration for the man he is. Instead of wanting to be with him, you just appreciate his friendship.
You keep your interactions with him firmly platonic, and you redirect your romantic energy towards available men. You don’t discuss things that are too personal. You avoid flirtation or anything that could lead him to believe there might be more between you.
– You want him to stay in your life.
It can feel like you’re “settling” for friendship when what you really wanted was a romance.
But, in fact, friendship is the very best foundation for a lifelong relationship.
Some research has found that almost 70% of people in lasting love relationships started out in platonic relationships.
When you are friends first, it gives your connection time to grow. You discover each other without the pressure of dating. You’re able to be natural with each other. It’s more relaxed.
And it could just lead to a connection that lasts a lifetime.
You should keep flirting if…
– It’s just a bit of fun.
If you’ve got a playful, teasing energy going on between you, and you both know it’s not going to go anywhere, then go ahead and flirt.
Flirting doesn’t have to be serious. You can flirt with anyone, including people you’re not remotely attracted to, as a way of making them feel good and brightening their day.
The best flirts also know when it’s not appropriate to flirt.
It’s not appropriate to flirt when you’re working together, especially if there’s a disparity of power between you. It’s not appropriate to flirt if it’s making anyone uncomfortable, including the people around you. It’s not appropriate to flirt if he has a partner who might see you as competition.
– You both think that something could happen between you in the future.
Sometimes flirting is a way of keeping the heat alive when you know there’s something between you but now is not the right time to pursue it.
If he’s told you he’s not in the right space for a relationship, but you can see a sparkle in his eyes every time he looks at you, then a little gentle flirting can keep you connected.
Amazing guys aren’t always available, and it’s important to have strategies in place to deal with attractions that can’t go anywhere. Protect your heart and keep your eyes peeled for an even more amazing guy who’s 100% available!
This topic is good for men and women.
The closest friend I have in the world is a woman who I went on *one* date with about six years ago. I KNEW she was the one I wanted to marry. I don’t think I had ever felt that way after a first date. After those first 2-3 hours of lunch, I left, immediately called my older brother and told him I had my best first date EVER (I was in my early 60’s) and FINALLY met the woman I had been searching for my entire adult life.
You can imagine my disappointment when I asked her on a second date and she answered, “I had SO much fun with you!!! It was great getting to know you and I know we could be BEST friends!” My first reaction, “Did I miss something? Friends, only? That can’t be” I read the note over and over thinking I missed something.
I have no recollection but she tells me that my follow-up notes weren’t very nice, but how could she decide after that wonderful time that there was no connection at all? How could she not give it a chance to see if something would develop? Yes, I was VERY angry!
But, I gave friendship a chance, and glad I did. It’s been numbers of years. She’s fallen in love and has a guy living with her, but we get together occasionally (sometimes with her boyfriend), and there’s no one on this planet, outside of my family, who I would trust more. We can talk about virtually ANYTHING and I couldn’t imagine having anything other than a purely platonic friendship with her.
Men and women can definitely be friends without any sexual tension, as long as both are on the same page about the friendship.
I’ve given up on dating sites and trying to find a replacement for her as she still IS my exact match of fun, intelligence, and as a bonus, she’s beautiful as well, but dating sites take too much energy for so little added value.
As you mentioned, I think the longest lasting romantic relationships start off as platonic, and while this one didn’t work into romance, it doesn’t mean others won’t, and my life is a TON richer having this woman as a friend