• Keeping Friends

When Remaining Just Friends Is Tough

Published: March 3, 2014 | Last Updated: March 29, 2022 By | Reply Continue Reading

If two people have different expectations of a friendship, remaining “just friends” can be tough and uncomfortable for them both.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

Up until recently, I have been best friends with a girl that I have known since the seventh grade. For a while, we dated but it was in middle school and it didn’t mean much. Needless to say, we remained close over the years.

A while ago we got into an argument that had seemingly ended our friendship. We forgave each other and that resulted in a confession that she still liked me on and off after all these years (5 years actually.) I told her I didn’t feel the same way, want to be just friends, and that we had a good friendship going. After that, she put up the “cold front.” Although we still remained friends, it’s really not like it used to be.

We run in the same social circles and even share a close friend and their family, and she has been freezing me out from all of them, making plans with them without me. And she always talks about making plans with other people when I talk to her.

I would like to be friends with her, but it seems like she wants to hang out with everyone but me. How can I approach this without making things more awkward with her and creating more unnecessary drama?

Signed, Paul

ANSWER

Hi Paul,

While you would like to have a platonic friendship, your friend has put her heart on her sleeve, expressing that she would like something more from you than being “just friends.”

Your friend must have felt pretty disappointed and hurt at being rebuffed even though you responded to her with honesty. If she told other people about her feelings about you, she may also be feeling embarrassed.

When two people have different expectations of a relationship, it can be tough on both ends. Since your friend is having a harder time than you with the notion of being “just friends,” all you can do is see if she becomes more comfortable with your friendship over time. She probably needs time to adjust and pressuring her at this point may make things worse.

One other suggestion: Be careful not to discuss this situation with your mutual friends, which would make things more awkward for both of you.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene


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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

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