One of my close guy friends asked me out on a date a while back, and while I’ve never been into him romantically, I said yes because I felt like it was the right thing to do. We’re still in a situationship and while I know I should cut him loose because I don’t feel anything for him, I’m keeping around because it’s better than being alone.
I’ll miss him if he’s gone. The inside jokes, the easy friendship, the comfort of having someone who will be there for me—all of this will instantly disappear if I give him a hard, fast, cruel rejection. The empty void where a friend used to be is an incredibly hard space to fill. I’m desperate to keep him in my life because I know that if I end what we have going on romantically, the friendship will go with it.
I’ve invested time and energy into this relationship. Even though I’m not romantically interested, I’ve done a lot for him. From hangouts to texts to inside jokes, I’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort into fostering and maintaining our friendship. Cutting ties with him abruptly negates all of that.
It’s difficult to rebuild. Finding good friends is difficult! I know that it may be better for him to start over without me, but forming new friendships every time a romantic endeavor doesn’t work out is exhausting and lonely. Keeping him on the hook means that I don’t have to go through the emotionally exhausting process of finding someone else to befriend and confide in. I’m tired just thinking about it.
I can’t feel his pain. Romantic entanglements aren’t easy for anyone involved, but it’s definitely worse to be the giver of unrequited love than the recipient. Empathy can only take me so far, and it’s often overridden by my own insecurities and feelings about the importance of our friendship in my life. It’s a lot easier for me to attempt to cling to our friendship when I’m not the one feeling the sting of rejection.
It feels good to be desired. Admit it—having someone like you is an ego-boost. It’s confidence-building. It feels good to be wanted. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes that’s part of the reason that I can’t let a suitor go. Who else will make me feel so desirable?
I don’t want to give him up. He’s an important part of my life, just not romantically. And even though he may not see it, I value him as a person even if I don’t see him as a potential boyfriend. This makes me want to hang on to him even though I don’t reciprocate his feelings. Our relationship is too good to give up.
I know he’ll be there for me. Keeping him on the hook even though I’m not interested in a relationship means that I have someone by my side who cares about me as both a friend and a potential lover. While I’m not interested in pursuing him, his unconditional support is a valuable resource.
It will hurt to see him move on. It sucks to be yesterday’s news. When he moves on to another woman, I’ll inevitably feel uninteresting, unappealing, and undesirable. Keeping him on the hook puts off this feeling for as long as possible because as soon as he no longer wants me, the confidence boost that came with his attachment will be gone.
I like having options. As long as he’s around, I always have options. It means that no matter the state of my current relationship, I’ll always have him as a safety net to fall back on if things in my love life don’t work out. Rejecting him completely and setting him free is a terrifying thought because without him there as a safety net, navigating the dating world suddenly becomes so much riskier.
I don’t want to be alone. Plain and simple. Nobody wants to be alone. I like that this guy is always waiting in the wings, a confidant when I need someone to talk to, a friend when I need someone to laugh with, and a lover if I ever decide to pursue him. I’ve grown addicted to constant human contact and the thought of being without that is terrifying. I know it may not be the best thing for him, but I don’t want to be all by myself.
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