Red Responds: Is It Love or Friendship?

Sehar Afzal in Bangor asks:

Hi Red,

I met a man a year ago, and the connection was unmistakable. Since then we have become friends. There has been a lot of flirting and bantering, but he has been very inconsistent, almost to the point of rudeness. I have feelings for him, and I know that he does, too. However, about a month ago I let him know that his behavior hurts me. When he blew that off, I backed away. I let him know that I think he is a wonderful man, but I don’t like the way he treats me, and to not contact me. The problem is, I do love him. My gut feeling is that we can learn a lot from each other, and help each other with really big goals. Please help me understand what’s going on, and what I can expect in the future.

Red Responds:

Dear Sehar,

The connection that you share with this man is a mix of this-life compatibility and past-life unfinished business. This combination makes for a powerful, and complicated, dynamic.

There is some karma, or past life issues, that you two need to clean up. Even though the two of you have known and loved one another in previous lifetimes, there is a repeat theme of you not being able to be with him, sending him away, or forsaking your love in some manner. While that history is circumstantial (many times, you really didn’t have a choice), it has a very real impact on your relationship in this life.

Your friend hasn’t necessarily had the easiest time with his deeper connections and relationships in this life, and he has a hard time dealing with his own fears and emotional attachments. Even though he feels very connected to you, his need to maintain control and protect himself overrides his desire to surrender to his deeper feelings.

You took initiative and an emotional risk by sharing how you feel about him, which is good. However, when you were expressing how his inconsistent behavior and communication failures were less than acceptable to you, he really didn’t know how to deal with it – so he simply chose not to. Your telling him not to contact you hurt him, and brought some fresh trust issues to the surface.

At the moment, your friend doesn’t want to deal with his fears or feelings. While I don’t mean this in an insulting or negative manner, he simply wants things to be safe and easy. When you try to progress this relationship and deepen the bond, his reactions are defensive. He doesn’t consciously try to sabotage this relationship, but his fear-based inactions and reactions are counterproductive to healing the “hurts” that exist between the two of you.

When the two of you find your way back to one another this winter, the joy of reconnecting in friendship will be rewarding. However, the romantic aspects of this relationship will continue to be a secondary consideration for several months. In order for this relationship to grow, you must accept that you currently want more than he is willing to give.

If you are willing to focus solely on the friendship aspect of this relationship, a karmic debt will be paid. While this will be painful for you, your sacrifice will bring in a new level of balance to this relationship. It is only from that point of balance that this man will find the strength to deal with some of his fears and issues, and find trust in love once again.

There is great potential for the two of you to create a solid, long-term relationship, but things aren’t going to come together fast or easy. “Sacrifice” seems to be a theme with the two of you, because you will repeatedly test each other’s willingness to first give the things that you are hoping to receive.

Brightest Blessings,


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12 thoughts on “Red Responds: Is It Love or Friendship?

  1. V Encarnacion Pantilano

    Hi Red. I met a guy in August, a colleague from our company’s branch in the Mediterrenean who was assigned to help me out temporarily here in the UAE. I am pretty sure we both liked each other at first meeting but he’s a lot younger than I am and just like Sehar, we had a lot of fun teasing each other, flirting at some point, sharing jokes and going out dining. We talked a lot on the phone after he left the UAE but never talked about anything serious.

    The teasing continued and last Thursday he annoyed me with his comment about me being forgetful which has something to do with my age. The joke came at the wrong timing and I sent him a hate note and did not speak to him after that. I really liked him a lot and had never liked anyone like this for quite some time. I am contemplating on just dealing with him more professionally from hereon and stop being a friend like I used to. I think I have to learn to forget about this crazy notion of hoping for something more than friendship. Am I right on giving up this early?

  2. write4life

    Hello Red,
    I have experienced something similar. I’ve known a guy for 4 years, in the beginning of our relationship, it was complete love and passion. Now it’s so much different. I have feelings for him, and the same with him. He recently told me he wishes we still had the passion we had 3-4 years ago. I have tried keeping that passion in our relationship, and now that I have given up on us, and trying to move on, he’s been trying to show up in my life more. It’s not the first he’s done this, but I don’t understand why he does it. I tell him we can try to start our relationship over, but he refuses. Is there any advice I should take, would you know anything I can not see?
    Thank you very much.

  3. wicked

    I need some help. I have been in-love with one of my best friends since 10th grade. I moved away two months after we graduated. He told me then that he loved me too but he didnt want to lose me as a friend, cause he kept dating his friends and now they are not friends anymore. Since he told me that he’s dated two of our friends. He is now engagged to one of them. A few months ago he texted me saying that he dreamed he cheated on her with me. He also said that he still loves. What should I do?

  4. Ronda Thibault

    I met a guy about 6 years ago through my brother, we dated for about 3 to 4 months then he ask me to move in. Everything was great, we have so much in common,same interests,we have the same ideas when coming to our children he has 1 and i have 2. We shared the same room and bed. This was real good for about a year,then all of the sudden he just wanted to be friends. He had reasons for just wanting to be friends,like when he is sexual with a woman,she wants marriage, if you live with someone they change, he just wanted to take things slow and get to know one another really well. Then he moved away to be close to his family and didn’t want me to come with him. After he was there for 6 months,I visited him and he talked about me moving there, I said I have some things to put in order before just moving away from my family. well it was about a year after he moved I finally moved with him, we emailed, texted and called each other all the time while apart. He would say things like when you get settled there is so many things I want to show you here and take you, he said he couldn’t wait to hangout with me again. Well I have been here for 5 months and we haven’t hungout by ourselfs yet, he claims he goes out with his bosses a couple nights a week. Since I have been here I found out he sees younger girls ( half his age) and stays out 4 to 5 nights a week til wee hours and has to work the next day. I have confronted him and he keeps making up other excuses, like I am stupid or something, but I have seen the text messages on his phone and the pics they send him. He tells me I mean the world to him and he says he doesn’t want to lose me and every time I am not speaking to him, he wants to know if I am ok, i try to talk to him but it apparently doesn’t effect him. He has always treated me real good. We both had bad divorces and I think he is in fear of getting too close to anyone again. We both have been divorced for over 18 to 20 years. I love im very much and had excepted his friendship, but like he told me “keep the door open, you never know, maybe more will become of us at a later time” It’s been 6 years and I really want to move on and enjoy my life, but my fear is losing him all together and him not being part of my life. What should I do? Please get back with me.

  5. kimmie45

    wow!!!…….i too have just gone through a similer sitution 2 years ago…..i met this man at work and felt such a connection with him…..then in feb 09 his ex contacted him and they got back together……i understood he had unfinished business with this women… closure from the past……when i see him he does not look happy at times…..he was always nice to me and there was always this tension between us….it was like he was feeling what i was…….i feel that we will down the road reconnect under different circumstances……i no longer work there but still think about him….i wish him all the best……k

  6. sunshinebrite

    Hello Red, I need advice. I am currently having feeling for a friend of mine and he is younger than me by 14 years. We have an amazing chemistry and deep connection. We have feelings for each other and we enjoy each others company very much..I need to know if it’s safe for me to fall in love,invest time and my emotions into this relationship and weather or not he will be able to handle having a committed relationship. He is very wise and mature for his age. He is a man with his priorities in order and has goals and dreams. We are both have the same career path. I am falling for him and I want to chance because it feels so amazing and exciting at the same time. Please help me to see with your skills and abilities if this is something that is going to break my heart in the end or if it is going to be a loving and healthy relationship in the long run? We value our friendship and we would like to remain in each others lives for ever. We are life long friends beyond the relationship. He is deeply connected to me and cares about me a great deal.

    Please help me before I get in too deep.

    Thank you Red before hand for your assistance!!


  7. Nita Bee

    Hi, Red

    I too have a friend im very much interested in who is married. My situation is a little different, coinsidering I am a bisexual woman who has this very close friendship with this married woman. She knows I like women, however me and her have grown really close over the years . I know have intament feelings for her and im kinda of sure she feels the same way however she has never been with a woman but I have. I love her to death & can’t stop thinking about her. I want to tell her how I really feel about her but at the same time I am kinda of unsure if that is something I should do because I would never want to lose her friendship. My gut feeling tells me that she is interested but scarred at the same time. What would you advise?

  8. Deborah Allen

    Wow! This could almost have been written about me. I am in a similar situation….he does not treat me badly though….I have written to Red before and would love to have some input on my situation. My friend and I are getting closer and I try not to push….so I do alot of sacrificing too.

  9. nthabiseng

    Hi, Red
    I have known this guy for the past 9 yrs and in that 9 years we dated only for 3 months got seperated because of his work(he was working in the navy). He was relocated to another town which it was far from me thats when we got sepated. I met him again last year and he told me that he still loves me and wants us to start all over again. I didnt believe him asked myself questions if he was telling the truth that he hasnt got a girlfriend. This year in January we started calling each other and eventually i fallen for him cause i was single too. We have been dating for 9 months now. Recently when i visited him i got a sms that he sent to another lady telling her that he loves her, I questioned him about it and he told me that he was just flirting with her nothing to worry about. I’m very worried as we are not living in the same town but i go there as often as I can. I dont know if he really mean it when he says he loves me or he was just saying it just for me to stop nagging about the girlfriend. He told me he has stopped flirting with that lady but i’m not sure if he is telling the truth cause we live separate towns. We are planning to get married next year and i dont want to enter marriage with doubts in my mind, i do love him and believe that he loves me too but scared of this ladies

  10. terri

    I really enjoyed the response, especiallythe last line of how to first give the things that you are hoping to receive.
    Thank you red

  11. lucky2

    Hi Red, I read with interest the article from Sehar regarding the man she met a year ago. I also was able to connect with your response since I am in a similar situation. I have known an absolutely delightful gentleman for a few years now and have always felt, even though I was never able to get close to him until recently, that we had a strong spiritual connection. He had an unfortunate situation occur in his life which allowed me to reach out to him in kindness. When he accepted my assistance I believed that we would be able to become closer as time passed. We shared during the few times we met some very intimate secrets about our lives and I believed that we had a chance for a friendship. Then all of a sudden he backed off and cut off contact with me except for an occasional few words. I realize that he is afraid of becoming involved with anyone at this time as he has been rejected by a long term partner in the past. Will he ever be able to trust me enough that I will be able to get close to him once more? Or, should I forget him and move on?


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