Theres this guy who is like my best friend. We used to talk everyday and I was a little shy so he would start the conversation everytime. He’d tease me often telling me that he had to confess something and then one day he wrote, I Love you. I thought it was one of his jokes so I kind of didnt give a very good reply. Ever since that day he stopped replying often, he wouldn’t start the conversations. I asked him several times what was wrong but he just didn’t tell me the reason and now hes like a completely different person. He won’t reply even if he’s online and I have to message him. What do I do?
If you didn't know it, I'm more than a self-proclaimed expert of the dreaded "friends zone".
Not only have I put lots of women in my friends zone I have also lived there myself for more years than I would care to admit.
All that aside, let's just say I know how he feels.
Your friend is obviously in love with you and he has been since he's known you. Now I'm sure at first it was attraction but he quickly convinced himself it was a genuine love and kept this secret from you. It's exactly what guys do who are in this predicament.
He will hint it or as you wrote, "tease me often telling me that he had to confess something" because he wanted you to see it for yourself. The last thing he wanted to do was tell you because he knew it would ruin everything including the relationship you already have.
He actually wanted YOU to confess your feelings BEFORE he was willing to open up and since that didn't happen, his emotional buildup becomes unbearable. As his thoughts progress and his feelings begin to deepen for you, an explosion is not far off...
Some men run. Some men hide. Some bury it deep. Some men feel a gnawing pain which won't go away until they let out their secret of love.
In his case, he felt like if he didn't tell you soon the pain inside would destroy him and by now I'm positive it was seeping its nasty way into all areas of his life.
When all this played out and he couldn't bear being "in love" with you but not "with you" romantically he confessed his feelings in words. Something I would NOT recommend to any guy in his situation.
Now that you know a little about what goes on in the mind of a guy you can easily see how his actions became completely based on your reaction.
He built up this story in his head about what would happen and it didn't.
You didn't confess your love for him. You didn't jump up and grab him and kiss him. You didn't wrap your arms around him. You didn't play out the movie he had created the whole time he's been friends with. Tweaking and rewriting it "ad lib" style with hopes the new plot will come to life.
And now he feels, among many others thing... Helplessly rejected!
He's dejected (can I use that word here 🙂 ) and wants to crawl under a rock.
He's Sad because he believes he's ruined everything and can never be with you.
Guilty because he's led you to believe something else about your friendship.
Even more guilt because he feels he's been lying to you and quite possibly used the friendship angle to get close to you making him feel like a manipulative person.
He's having trouble facing you because the mere sight of you reminds him of all these emotions and I'm betting he wishes it would just all go away or disappear.
Regretful and hurt.
You will not get a good response asking him what's wrong because as you can see, he's expecting you to know AND by telling you again brings up all the same emotions mentioned above.
AND, as strange it sounds, asking a guy what's wrong is like telling him he's wrong and it often is emasculating. Men like to believe they're strong enough to handle their emotional problems.
My best advice to you is to:
#1. Give him some time to rationalize what has happened and what he did and what you didn't do. In other words don't pester him. Space is very important here.
#2. In the meantime you need to consider how YOU feel. What YOU want. Where YOU want to take things. This next thing is very important, you must play with the idea that nothing will be the same again between you two AND there's a very good chance your friendship is now forever changed.
#3. Refrain from asking him what is wrong. Start by saying something like, "Do you love me?" with a smile and see how he responds. If he fights it or denies it, he needs more time.
At this point how he responds and how you're feeling towards him and the friendship will certainly become more clear. Mind you not easy to deal with, just more clear.
I can NOT be more honest about this next part Marilyn.
Nothing you say or do will change what he has to experience and live through himself.
No matter what words you feel will work, NOTHING will change his love for you and this is something he needs to comes to terms with himself. Trust me he will feel this for a long time. It won't just disappear overnight.
The women I did this too I am NOT in love with anymore and aside from if it really was love is debatable, it took me at least 3 months to move on. Depends on his ability with women it could take longer or shorter.
If you must reject him, do it honestly.
Don't do things because you want to spare his feelings. That will only make matters worse for him.
Do NOT tell him "You're a great guy BUT...".
Do NOT tell him "You're a nice guy BUT..." because you will only make him feel worse and from one friend to another, when you tell a guy that what he's hearing is entirely different.
Men hear this, "I'm not attracted to you because you're nice." or "I don't like you because I don't want a great guy." or "Being nice or great or good means nothing to me when it comes to guys I will become romantically involved."
#4. You've made it this far so the next step is not take it personal IF you have no attractive feelings for him. It's NOT your fault. You must not feel guilty.
#5. If he still isn't responding to you or opening up to you there's nothing I know of which will change that unless you feel the same way about him. Give it some more time get on with your life and let him go through his personal emotional cycle.
Your friendship with him can be saved but not at first.
It will be too awkward for him and will become extremely difficult for you to see him in any other way and he knows it.
However, over time and with the introduction to new women in his life AND if he goes through the normal grief stages in a healthy way he'll get over it and the friendship will start something new.
Just don't force it.
Stay away from making him feel like less than a man, don't try to hook him up with other women, don't try to downplay his feelings and make him feel like they are not valid, and he'll be less likely to get stuck in the friends zone mode for too long.
Wishing you all the best and please, let me know how it all plays out if you get a chance. I'm certainly interested in hearing it.