Ask A Spinster: Friends to Lovers (to Zombies)

Once again, it’s time for Ask A Spinster!, the long beloved (since last week) post series in which Grace answers all your questions. Well, almost all. She really thinks you need to direct any burning questions to a doctor, as those might be signs of leprosy! Luckily for us all, today’s question involves the escalation of a romance, not Mycobacterium leprae.

 

So, I have a guy friend who I’ve known for about a year. We’ve become especially close in the last two months as we are both single and have come to rely on one another for advice and support. Before then, it had been discussed that the two of us wouldn’t work so supporting each other in this way wouldn’t create a problem.

This thing is…now I know him much better and he is not who I thought he was. He is much better – the type of person i would date. Needless to say, I have developed feelings for him.

What do I do Miss Grace – giver of advice?

Sincerely,
A

mailgirlMy dear Mademoiselle A, I have so been there. The only thing worse than developing feelings for a friend is developing feelings for a friend you’ve specifically disavowed becoming romantically entangled with. While I firmly believe that many opposite sex friendships can remain platonic on both sides, it’s also true that getting to know someone on a deeper level can change how you see him or her. Sometimes, a guy’s stealth neatness just sneaks up on you, like a sadistic pie-bearing clown.

The question is, of course, what the hell to do now. He’s obviously a great friend to you, so keeping the friendship stable in the long-term is imperative. As such, many people *cough* Cosmo writers *cough* would tell you to keep quiet on the matter and let his actions be your guide. If he touches you accidentally, if he surprises you with giant iced teas, then perhaps he likes you too. Nonverbal cues are all well and good, but that’s horrid advice. In my experience, there is one universal truth of feelings: they, like their dear cousin truth, will always out.

If you like him, tell him. Bottling up your emotions, for the good of the friendship or your own psyche, can result in calamity. Feelings insist on becoming known, whether through the machinations of a loose-lipped friend or from your own 3 a.m. ramblings, after too many margaritas and episodes of Roswell. Neither of those outcomes is ideal. The best way to keep from going down a rabbit hole of awkwardness is to take control. Let emotional honesty rule the day and tell him what’s up.

Chances are, he’s already noticed a disturbance in the Force. Talking about it has one of two possible outcomes: either he also likes likes you, or he doesn’t. Obviously, I’m pulling for the former, but even the latter isn’t the end of the world. Friendships, the good ones like yours, can overcome anything. I’ve known oodles of friend pairs who’ve dealt with one person liking the other. Despite what popular culture likes to tells us about love ruining All The Things, they’ve universally made it out the other side in tact. After some initial awkwardness, things got back to normal. Putting your feelings on the table allows you both to move forward, whether as a couple or just friends.

Also, I’m going to be honest, we don’t have all the time in the world. Crazy things happen everyday. Say he does return your feelings, but you don’t tell him out of fear. He could meet someone else tomorrow! She may not be you, but her laugh is nice and she shares his love of Disney villains, so he asks her on a date…then another one and another one and, before you know it, he’s asking you to help him plan a proposal. That would suck! Of all the Julia Roberts characters to emulate, the one from My Best Friend’s Wedding is the worst. The beauty of taking action is that you’re never left wondering “What if…” Embarrassment is a fleeting emotion, but regret lingers.

If he says no, you can move forward. But if he says yes? You can start all the happy bits now. That seems a worthy risk to take. Besides, if the Zombie apocalypse happens, don’t you want a partner? He sounds like he’d be good with a pick ax.

Good luck, my dear!

With love and pie,

Grace, Giver of Advice

If you have questions you’d like answered by your friendly local spinster, leave them in the comments or e-mail them to us!

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15 thoughts on “Ask A Spinster: Friends to Lovers (to Zombies)

  1. Grace, you ARE the GREAT ADVICE GIVER :))))))))) and i agree with you 100%
    HONESTY!
    I’ve been there with my best male friend and he (luckily actually) was not interested in me that way but we stayed amazing friends and he is one of the best things in my life πŸ™‚
    he’s got a girlfriend now that I only hate VERY LITTLE bit ;p but that didn’t change our friendship either πŸ˜€
    my crush is gone but real love for friend and person and tiny wee soft spot for man are there and I’m enjoying it very much πŸ™‚
    and I agree:feelings ALWAYS come out, why not to choose comfortable situation when we’re sober, composed and relaxed? cause trust me, when bottled those feelings will come out the worst possible way :p

    • I’m so glad it worked out well for you, Ognik! Emotional honesty has become my guiding principle of life. We can’t help feeling our feelings, but we can certainly help how we deal with them. Being calm and honest with people helps keep things from spiraling out of control, no matter the situation! Also, I’m so glad you like your pal’s new girlfriend. The one downside of opposite-sex friendships is when your friend winds up with a partner you can’t stand! It’s so great when you just wind up with another friend, instead.

  2. So interesting. I’ve had friends do this, confess their love/lust and it was never requited. Amazingly, the friendships survived. My advice would have been – you already know [admit it] whether or not he LIKES likes you so, if he does, make a move, and if not, direct your energies elsewhere for a while. This is perhaps why you are the great giver of advice, pas moi.

    • Brenda, that’s how many of my friends’ experiences have wound up, as well. However, there have been a number that turned into really kick ass relationships once the girl in question spoke up. It’s those that guide my advice, in this case. I’m hoping for Mademoiselle A that her relationship falls into the latter!

  3. Grace. very recently I told a friend how I felt about him and his reply was, “I’ve noticed the signals Mid-Thirty Misfit, I’m not a total idiot, but it has to come from both sides. I don’t feel the same.” He was not sympathetic, nor apologetic in his reply. He simply stated a fact. While I had prepared myself for the possibility, the way I felt was nothing like any of the scenarios I’d played through in my mind…In my mind I’d expected a wailing, teary episode, but it turned out to be an evening of watching movies and drinking wine. I see him virtually every day – his job has a lot to do with mine (and no, we don’t work together, for those of you who are wondering) – and things are still great between us. The awkwardness is gone – we can be open about anything, and I love it…and I love him for it.

    • Mid-Thirty Misfit, I’m so, so glad that you had a positive experience with laying it on the table. So many of my friends look at me in horror, when I suggest this. But, if you’re truly great friends with someone, the conversation is just how you described it: calm and emotionally positive. Hooray for your friend’s rational reaction and hooray for you having the guts to put it out there!

  4. As always, well said! At worst, she’s no longer friends with him (which, if that’s the case, they probably weren’t that great of friends in the first place) and at best, they get married and make lots of beautiful babies! Or no babies, if that’s your style. I think I’m going to take some or your advice with my own love life, Grace. Thanks!

  5. I like this emotional honesty doctrine. Something I’ve been practicing for the last year and it has worked wonders in life. Not everything went the way I thought it would be, but I’m a happier person for believing and practicing this in my life. Plus, you are all too right when you say life is too short.

  6. Awhile back I did exactly this – fell for a friend I’ve known for years, flirted and tested the waters to try and figure out if he felt the same way, and finally asked him out point blank. He said no and was very sweet about it, but unfortunately it didn’t provide closure for me. My feelings did not, as I had hoped, go away. Then, recently he started acting differently towards me, getting very very flirty, calling me up in the middle of the night to hang out with a bottle of wine kind of thing… and because my feelings hadn’t gone away it rekindled that hope – I told myself that maybe he’d changed his mind. Maybe he didn’t see me that way before but after laying my cards on the table, he’d looked at me in a new light. This went on for a couple of weeks and then at his birthday party this past weekend I met a girl that he has been seeing – throughout all of that strange recent behaviour with me. I am even more upset now than I was the first time he said no. I really wanted to believe that whole “if you love someone you should tell them” kind of advice – but my experience has not been a very good one. Now I am struggling to find a way to be a good friend to him again, to put these feelings away and be happy for him, but its been very very hard. Its not necessarily that I regret being honest with him about how I felt, its just not as easy as it sounds if your feelings aren’t reciprocated.

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