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Dear Christine, Weary in Westland

| February 7, 2016

ccc 2Dear Christine, 

I have a friend who has feelings for me that are unwanted by me.  I’m recently single but she even made it clear she “loved me” when I was with my last girlfriend.  She sent me her true confessions by email which my partner read and wasn’t thrilled with.  She also tried to kiss me once but I turned away just in time! I asked her to stop it then and she did sort of slow down but recently she’s been hinting at her feelings even though I’ve been bordering on cruel with my responses.  I’m getting really turned off by it.  I did value her friendship but I’m ready to tell her to just leave me alone.  Is it possible to have a friendship with someone who is in love with you when you don’t feel the same?  I don’t, and never will return her feelings but we have fun as friends and I’d like to keep that.  Is there a way to get her to stop or do I just need to end the friendship?

Thanks, Weary in Westland

Dear Weary,
How do you get anybody to do something they don’t want to do?  I haven’t figured that out.  I have 5 cats, so I get to experiment with this continuously.  If what I want happens to match  with what they want or need, it’s great!  If not, I’m usually the one disappointed.  Likewise for you.  You can’t get your friend to stop loving you.  Her feelings are there and are real and can’t be turned off like a light switch.  She didn’t hide her feelings when you were with your last girlfriend, and now that you’re single, she keeps hinting now.

She’s not getting is that you “aren’t that into her.” The more she tries to kiss you and make you fall in love with her, the further away you go.  She doesn’t get subtleties and is pushing you to be direct and blunt with her.  If there is a chance at a relationship, she’s ready and not waiting.  If there’s no chance on your part, then there’s no overlapping middle ground.  Remember the Venn Diagram?

If she wants a relationship and you don’t, there might be a friendship where there is overlap.  But since you want different things, there’s no common ground.  If she can’t be friends and you can’t be more, then you are a “disjoint” and there is no friendship.  You can only go to the lowest common denominator in a relationship, and she can’t limit herself to your lowest requirement:  friendship.
Remember what Maya Angelou said:  When people show us who they are, believe them.  This woman is NOT a friend.  She is not able to be a friend.  The kindest thing you can do is to be direct and clear and let her friendship go.

Take care, Christine Cantrell, PhD  Psychologist
Email Me Here

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