He says he just wants to be friends, but he acts otherwise. Please help!

I have been friends with this guy for a few years. In the beginning we were not that close. Later as time went on we began hanging out together almost everyday - mostly just the two of us. We go to movies, dinner, stay in and play games or just hang out and watch tv. He is younger than me so at the start I just wanted to be friends (which I was very clear about), but over time I began to develop feelings for him and realized I would be jealous if he dated anyone (just for the record he hasn't yet - also just for the record he is not gay). So I decided I needed to tell him how I felt. At the end of the conversation he said he would like to just stay friends. Although I was hurt by this I absolutely respect his decision. Since that conversation nothing has changed - we still hang out almost everyday unless we are both busy.

The problem is he doesn't always act like just friends. I used to be able to talk to him about people I was interested in or dating and he seemed sincerely interested. He would even give me feedback. Now he either shuts down or tells me how wrong they are for me and that I should just stay single forever. Our friends notice how the two of us interact and continuously ask me why we are not dating or tell me they thought we are dating. We have actually been called out on flirting while hanging out with friends more than a couple times. It has gotten so bad that when people want to contact him or tell him something they tell me and expect that I will pass it along. Frequently I tell them to contact him directly, but this keeps happening.

I am posting on here because I need advice. I really care for this guy and obviously would like to be more than friends, but I certainly do not want to lose him as a friend. I suppose he could be classified as being a bit shy though he seems comfortable around me. People (mostly our mutual friends) notice that he acts differently (more fun, confident etc) around me than around anyone else (something I have not asked about, but people have come to tell me on their own). I don't want to scare him off or jeopardize our friendship, but I can't help wondering if he really does want more. Then I think to myself...why would he say he wants to be friends if he actually wants more...I just don't understand.

If you are a guy and have any insight on this it would be appreciated.

additional information: when we hang out there is typically lots of eye contact, laughing, smiling, he is always in close proximity to me (sitting close to me etc). When we are in a group of people walking he is always right next to me and he even been known to maneuver his way in between me and someone next to me (mostly with other guys). We have gotten to the point when we go out that we buy each other lunch, dinner, or drinks and typically trade off. Lately though he told me I don't need to pay him back.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Unless the status quo is acceptable to you, and it doesn't sound like it is, then you've got to talk to him again, in depth, and completely honestly, and you may have to decide in the end that you either need a relationship with him, or you need to stop being friends with him. You've put your love life on hold for him, and no guy will want you if you're always hanging around this guy, so you either need to get him to agree to make this a relationship, or you have to go your own way.

    When someone has feelings, and the other doesn't, this usually ends up being what happens. It's VERY difficult to be good friends with someone you have feelings for if they don't feel the same, and even more so if they give you conflicting messages, like him not wanting you to date someone else.

    Yes, that means you might lose him as a friend, but the alternative is potentially wasting years of your life waiting for something that he's never going to give you.

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    • Thanks for the response!

      I want to be clear, since he said he just wants to be friends I am dating other people. Doesn't mean I don't still have a soft spot for him, but I am not letting him ruin my chances of meeting someone else.

      He is one of my best friends. I would be devastated to lose him from my life. He is the only one I know who knows me so well he knows what I need before I ask.

      I am afraid to talk to him again about it, though if I do I think it would be to draw clear boundaries

What Guys Said 2

  • Just let him hump you; problem solved !

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    • that is the problem. he acts like he is interested, but then nothing. I'm totally willing.

  • Talk to him about, like literally sit him down and talk.

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    • Last time I talked to him, we did sit down. We talked for about an hour. Then after he said he would like to remain friends we went along like nothing had happened. I personally did not want to appear vulnerable. As I mentioned to the other person who commented I think I need to just call him out on his actions and establish clear boundaries. I don't feel I am able to remove him from my life.

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