Mistaking Friendship for Love
I need help to end this relationship but save our friendship. We were best friends for over three years. He was hurt this summer in a serious car accident and he spent the majority of his time with me every day. I think this caused him to want a relationship, and he pushed it to go further. I went with it. He is in love with me, but I’ve mistaken my friendship love for real love. I tried to make love to him but it is horrible because there is no physical attraction. It does nothing for me. All physical contact makes me feel this way. I let him stay over because of his accident. It caused serious injury on the way home from work to home which is deep in the country and the woods. He stays with his parent but works far away. So I let him stay but since I agreed to the relationship he has not left. I HAVE NO SPACE!! I love him as a friend how do I tell him I love him as a friend and not hurt his feelings.
I am sorry that you are in such a complicated situation. It’s not at all uncommon for feelings to get really confused, especially on the heels of a big trauma. And I’m not sure there’s a simple solution to this problem. He’s probably going to be hurt no matter how gently you tell him and it would be a good idea to prepare yourself for that eventuality. I would suggest being honest but kind with him. Tell him that you’ve been really confused but that you treasure his friendship and don’t want to hurt him. Will that make it better? Probably not. But there’s no harm in letting him know that the reason this is so complicated for you is that you have strong feelings for him….just not the ones he deserves out of a romantic partner.
It’s entirely possible that his feelings about you have also been amplified by the trauma of the accident. You took care of him and his feelings about you romantically are probably all tangled up with those traumatic feelings. So, the hard truth is that its likely going to hurt his feelings…but not half as much as you letting things continue until you are so resentful that you hate each other, right?
And last but not least, figuring out that this isn’t going to work does not make you an evil person. Be kind. Be compassionate. But don’t let yourself be talked out of what you know is the right decision because you don’t want to be the bad guy. You’re not the bad guy. This is a very difficult situation but if you remain empathetic while sticking to your guns, it’ll be ok.
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