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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I think Im falling in love with a friend that already has

Resolved Question:

I think I'm falling in love with a friend that already has a boyfriend.. She is going through some domestic trouble with her current boyfriend, but I think I'm too old for her anyway, I'm 30, she's 22, but she always says she's more attracted to older men. The thing is.. I have only known her for 7 months, but from the first time i met her I was attracted to her, and she quickly become my closest friend in university
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this challenging and distressful situation.

Customer:

Hi, yes it is quite distressing really

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me what's your biggest fear, and what's your biggest expectation about her?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You are right when saying this is a new friendship, but it also seems to have developed quite well during these months, and that you feel this good about it, and that she feels very comfortable and happy with you as a close friend too.

Customer:

my biggest fear is probably just losing her as a friend in general, since I think even if she didn't feel the same way, I'd be able to cope with it if we were still friends with each other. My biggest expectation... I really don't know. I am separated from my wife for 3 years, after she had an affair, but i rushed back into a relationship after that, so I think my feelings for this girl now are different, I'm not just looking to jump back into some random relationship

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Your words show a realistic and assertive approach to your circumstances, and I support your plan. I think it is wise to allow this friendship to continue evolving, to mature as such, without pushing it not risking its integrity, and if she really happens to share the same feelings, sooner or later she would allow or promote further closeness and intimacy between you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Your role would be mostly about "consistency" in the respect, understanding, and support you offer, sharing in healthy and fulfilling ways, thus you would be promoting your best chances for this friendships, and if she chooses to take a bigger step, into a romantic relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

She is having these problems with her boyfriend, and you would see how that evolves, keeping your consistent healthy and supportive friendship, as much as you feel it is healthy and worthy for you to wait and possible to handle.

Customer:

Well, the concerns i have are, i have already told her she is beautiful, but not in a way that implies I personally think she is beauitful, more of a generic kind of compliment. But i'm worried if i specifically say I think she is, it will cause her to draw away or something?

Customer:

Another thing that leads me onto probablt misreading things is whenever we do things together, or suggest doing things together, it is always without her boyfriend. Like something as simple as going to see a movie, or going for lunch, it's always just the two of us, I've never even met her boyfriend in the months we've kown each other

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right, and that's why you need to be careful not pushing her, disrespecting her boundaries. Better to consistently improve your friendship, to promote mutual trust and closeness, and if while doing that she does not show more interest and openness to get closer, then you would know,

Customer:

Yeah i see what you mean. But a thing that is playing on my mind is getting stuck in the "friend-zone" kinda thing, i don't know if i should make it clear that i am attracted to her, but also willing to just be friends if that's all she can offer, without throwing the whole thing into chaos

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

All those behaviors seem to show she is allowing this friendship and its closeness to evolve in ways that could lead to a potential romance, and this is why I suggest you to be totally consistent doing your best during this phase, in that way you would promote your chances for something more if she happens to share the same feelings.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's why "gradually" and "consistently" working on it seems to be the best approach, it would become more evident with time the level of mutual trust, attachment and fulfillment both share when together.

Customer:

Do you think it's... workable? if that's even a word ;p to be that kind of friend to someone that you are attracted to though? Or the constant thoughts of "well if "I" was her boyfriend it'd be different" just will eventually overpower the rest?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

There are many people who want to move from friend role into boyfriend role, and it never happens, or does not work when they try, mostly because of their own problems, insecurities, lack of assertiveness, and specially because of poor compatibility and reciprocity. But there are those who have these requirements and carefully work on building rust, closeness and intimacy, and for sure, those are the ones who enjoy the best chances and benefits from their good work.

Customer:

sounds like you pulled that from a book ;p

Customer:

but yes, i understand what you're getting at

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You could trust that the "book" is in my mind and heart from personal and professional experiences.

Customer:

haha fair enough ;p

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you feel it makes sense and relates to your experience, and that it is worthy to try it, then good, if not, no problem. i always invite people to learn and trust direct experience, not only personal but what they could learn from others, since it is experience, reality itself, what shows us how things work.

Customer:

my thinking is that if i make it clear that i am physically and emotionally attracted to her, do i take the leap of faith of it going one way or the other

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Women in close friendships do most times easily perceive the level of attraction their male friends experience, then if she has shown this pattern around you, it seems very good for you and your chances for deepening the friendship and having a future chance.

Customer:

I mean, personally, if someone i wasn't attracted to, told me they were attracted to me, i wouldn't cut them out of my life, i'd just make it clear i didn't feel the same way, whereas in my case, she kinda dances around the subject

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Her behaviors and words do not seem to push you away in that area, and that's why I truly believe if you carefully and consistently work on it, you may have very good chances.

Customer:

but like you said, my biggest fear, and the biggest inhibition to me telling her this, is that it will just overwhelm her, and she'll decide we can't be friends at all anoymore

Customer:

sounds pretty f**king pathetic when you type it out...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's why I do not suggest you to push her that way at all, but work on deepening your friendship.

Customer:

Well really, I'm not looking for advice on whether i have "a good chance" or not. It's more that i am just confused as hell about it all ;p

Customer:

Or rather, I'm looking on advice of dissuading me from telling her how i feel, and letting the consequences come

Customer:

Personally i think the direct approach is better.. it avoids any misinterpretation, and clearly states my feelings... but i don't know if that would be overberaing?

Customer:

still not convinced if you're a robot or not though ;p

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Most times I do suggest people to be totally honest and open in their relationships, including friendships. ..

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

but I also suggest to be very careful and to fully respect boundaries and limits, so not to hurt the other person, undermining what you already have.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is why I suggested to be patient, consistent and supportive, so to see how her situation with her boyfriend and your friendship evolve.

Customer:

well yeah, i'd say the vast majority of the time i am honest about things, it's only when something like this, where i have to consider other people's (her boyfriend's) feelings, that i look for some guidance

Customer:

really i think past relationships are clouding my judgement, personally

Customer:

but i don't know how in-depth this gets here, or whether it's just a "oh hi, i love this girl help me" kinda thing

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Correct, and that shows you values and character, which seem to be sound. Then if you are consistent with yourself and allow things to develop without forcing them, you would see if and when it could be adequate to take further initiatives if she does not take them before.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I suggest you to reflect on it, assess the pros an cons of telling her as you mentioned before, vs, my idea of working on promoting further closeness and trust, while respecting boundaries. form such evaluation you would decide what you truly want to afford or not, taking consistent action.

Customer:

well i would love to assess the pros and cons in a neutral aspect, but really whenever i think of things it's how it could be, not how it actually is. But i guess i don't have an unbiased opinon myself

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I hope you could reflect on it and get a clear decision of what you prefer to do about it, taking into account what you think, value and feel, and her own feelings, personality, boundaries and circumstances.

Customer:

yeah i will, even just this short conversation has brought a lot more to the forefront

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good, I am glad to hear that.

Customer:

but inevitably, i think it's going to come to a head, where i have to clearly state what i want

Customer:

to avoid any misread intentions i mean

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right, then it'd be a matter of timing, of finding the best context to do it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust.

Customer:

Yeah, thanks for the talk, it helped a lot

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Take gentle care and consistent action.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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