I often hear of women who have been given the old excuse “I’m not ready for a relationship but I want to be friends with you” from a man they really care about. They often wonder if this excuse is code for something else. They also wonder if, because he wants them to be friends, they should continue the relationship or just let it go.
I heard from a woman who said, “I’ve been dating this guy for about two months. He seems serious to me. I think I might have a crush on him. I think I might want to marry him one day. The other night, I started hinting at this and He stopped me in my tracks and said he really likes me but he’s just not ready for a relationship. He stressed that he values me as a very close friend. I know he had a nasty breakup right before he met me. So I think he’s telling the truth about it. But the whole ‘I just want to be friends’ thing has me really sad. It would be better if he said he wanted to take our romantic relationship slowly, but he didn’t. He said he just wants to be my friend. What does this mean? And how should I proceed? Should I continue seeing you as friends? Or give up and walk away? I’ll try to address these concerns in the next article.
Many married couples today started out as simple friends: I know things may seem right at the moment, but today there are countless happily married couples who started their relationship as just friends. In fact, many of them were on the receiving end of one of them not being ready for a relationship, and yet here they are happily married. So what he’s saying today doesn’t necessarily have to dictate your future. People’s feelings and intentions change. This man was telling this woman that she was very important to him and that she wanted to continue seeing her. Yes, he was trying to redefine the relationship, but he wasn’t trying to end it.
He is not asking you to leave his life: More to the point, if he had no interest in a relationship with her, he probably wouldn’t have emphasized how important she was to his life. Men who don’t want any type of relationship with you will often make it clear or cut off communication quickly after the “I just want to be friends” speech. Neither was the case here. He wasn’t trying to cut this woman out of her life. Quite the contrary, he was emphasizing how important she was to him.
If he wants to be his friend, what prevents you from being his friend? It’s interesting to note that more often than not, when women ask me if they should break up after a man tells them he just wants them to be friends, it’s often very clear that this is the last thing they want to do. It is often very clear that they want to stay in your life, but are so hurt by your words that they are tempted to give up. I know this can hurt. But if he’s really important to you, what’s the harm in looking for a friendship to see where it leads? There is no reason to assume that he is not telling the truth about not being ready for a romantic relationship. It was well known that this man had a nasty breakup. He was allowed to take time to heal. In fact, taking the time to heal ensures that the next relationship has a chance to succeed.
So there was really no reason to doubt what he was saying. And since he was so important to this woman, then a good strategy might be to continue a fun friendship and see where that leads. In fact, this really can be a sweet moment in a relationship. And happy, healthy relationships often grow out of bonds that were first friendships. See this as an opportunity to build a base with this man. What harm can it do?
Only time will tell what his future intentions really are: I know you want me to tell you what he’s thinking. But he is the only one with those answers. However, the good news is that the truth will often be revealed over time. If he continues to want to spend time with you and pursues you, then it’s pretty obvious that he’s getting closer to a relationship all the time. But, you really have to stay positive and see what his behavior tells you. If he is as important as this young woman was implying, this process was probably worth it.