Q. I met one of my best friend’s a year ago in college. I found him attractive off the bat, but really started to like him as our friendship grew. About half a year into the friendship he started to flirt with me by playing with my hair, always touching my skin, saying how I looked good. One night the two of us had a little end of the year party and had a few drinks. After our drinking and partying died down, we laid down for a little rest and he put his head on my shoulder. We talked about how the year went and how the night was ending, and mid conversation he kissed me. I was very shocked and quiet, until I had the guts to tell him I liked him. He had no response to my confession, other than he did not want a relationship quite yet. I left soon after that conversation. Later the next day he apologized for it, saying he should not have done that to his best friend. He didn’t want the friendship to end, and said we could continue on without any awkwardness between us. I didn’t know what to say, so I said I respected his decision. A few days later we were hanging out and there was a quiet moment when we were face to face and I felt like he was going to kiss me, and I turned away out of nervousness and struck up a conversation. It wasn’t long after that before he started to flirt with me again, after a few weeks of no physical contact. This just threw me into further confusion.
To this day we haven’t discussed what we mean to each other in depth, just a little conversation here and there. For someone I speak to everyday, has told me I am pretty, and does these flirtatious things to me, does he care? Is he as confused as me?
A. The two of you need to have an honest and open discussion about how you feel about each other. Before this discussion occurs, however, you first need to come to some clarity about how you feel about him. It seems that you do care for him but it’s not clear from your letter that you’re interested in a romantic relationship with him or if you want to remain friends.
The two of you may be sending “mixed signals” to one another. For instance, after he kissed you and then apologized for it, you said that you were not sure what to say and then told him that you respected his decision to remain friends. What would have happened had you said that you liked the affectionate gesture, if that was how you felt? It may be that the two of you are too shy to admit how you feel about one another. If that is the case, examine how you feel, tell him what you’re feeling and begin a discussion about the status of the relationship. Any other communication style short of this will likely leave you and he continually confused.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Sep 2008
Randle, K. (2008). Does He Want To Be More Than Friends?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 8, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/09/15/does-he-want-to-be-more-than-friends/