Dear Dr. Love:I am very confused on what I should do in the relationship my ex-girlfriend/fiance? You see I don’t know if I should still call her my girlfriend/fiance or what.About two weeks ago we had a talk about our relationship, she said that she loves me with all her heart but she doesn’t know what kind of love it is (Boyfriend or Just Friend). We were stuck in a rut for the last little while not going out as much or doing new things. She says that there will be some days when I kiss her, or touch her, she loves it and it makes her feel good, but there are days, when I touch her or kiss her and she thinks too herself, (wait a minute why did he do that we are friends).She says that she is confused and wants to remain very good friends until she figures all this out. I have no problem with that, except that not being with her is driving me crazy. I love her very much, and I don’t want to lose her. Do you think you could help?Signed: Loving and Confused.
You’re in a tough spot. It’s not easy to give your friend space to figure everything out and still want her as much as you do.I have three suggestions for you:
- Point out to your friend that in every relationship, feelings fluctuate, which means that some days we feel more friendly, some days more passionate, some days we feel love and some days we feel hate. This is normal and happens to everyone. By educating her about emotions, we will help her to know that her fluctuating emotions are normal.
- Encourage her to figure out her emotions with you rather than trying to figure them out on her own. Tell her that since this is a relationship issue and she’s not sure how she feels about you, it will be better for her to figure this out with you. So that she doesn’t feel pressured to stay lovers, you can tell her that whatever she finally decides, you will accept. How can you help her figure out her feelings for you when you are together? Keep a finger on her emotional pulse and every time she seems to be cooling off or drifting from you, step in and ask her: ‘Is this one of those times that you feel less connected to me?’ or ‘Is this one of those times that you feel like my friend. ‘By doing this, you are helping her to realize that all her feelings are fine and that she can talk about them with you without running away from you.
- When you discuss her feelings, it would be good to do what I call a Check Out. Make sure that she isn’t pulling away from you because she is upset about something you said or did. To Check Out with her you could ask: ‘Did I do or say anything to make you want to pull away from me?’ Sometimes, when an angry feeling comes up and it is not discussed and resolved, a person will feel less close (like a friend instead of a lover) and not know why. By doing what I have suggested, you are making sure that her cool offs are not due to misdirected anger.
So, you are now armed to work on this issue with your friend. Let me know what happens. Good luck. I hope she’s smart enough to stick with you.