Is pure friendship between women and men possible in a long-term reality? I ask this because I “had” a best friend. We were very close, but only as friends. As my desires changed into romantic ones, he rejected me. I dreamed about being close to him, physically and sexually, but I never tried to seduce him. It did change our relationship. He said he was not attracted to me in that kind of way. We were separated for almost half a year. During this time he had a short relationship with another woman. It was very painful for him, because she was on drugs and very manipulating, too. He left her after five months. Afterwards our friendship bloomed again. Since my feelings did not change, he rejected me again. Finally, we broke our contact completely two months ago.
It’s a very painful situation for me. I feel so deeply for him, and I can’t imagine being open to anyone else. I haven’t had a physical relationship in the last twenty-five years since my first boyfriend broke up with my when I was sixteen. I also worked a lot to get over some traumas during my childhood, including sexual abuse.
I had given up any hope in finding a fulfilling relationship until I met this man. I know he has a lot of unhealed wounds within himself. I wished that I could help him to heal, as I hoped to find healing in his arms.
Do you see any chance of us being together in the future?
Sonja, thank you so much for your question. In my journey, I’ve found spirits like yours to be both complex and enriching; shivering and exhausted by the ravages of pent up sensuality. I applaud you for working to overcome so much, and I want you to try to look at those troubled years as a preparation – the dressing room and backstage of dramas yet to come. Your journey continues, and I’m afraid some of the hardest lessons are ones you’ve yet to learn.
Your friend isn’t lying when he says he’s not drawn to you in a romantic sense. If you really search your heart, you’ll remember that you weren’t enamored with him to begin with either. That vital passion – that mind blowing sense of falling off a cliff – didn’t exist early on. In fact it really never has existed. You say that as time went by you developed a sexual desire for him, and that in itself is a tremendous red flag. If your body were actually aligned with his, you would have felt some instinctive reaction to him at once. Instead what happened was that you consoled one another. You were alone and sad. He showed up on the scene with a myriad of problems of his own, and over time you began creating romantic attachments to him that didn’t really exist. You did this because he’s a very kind and gentle soul – because he feels safe. Men you’re sexually drawn to for real scare you to death. They’re potent and aggressive. This friend was a safe bet because you know he would never hurt you.
Fortunately your friend is not naïve. Nor is he the sort to take cruel advantage of you. He knows your problems, and he also knows you aren’t really in love with him. He knows you’ve formed a kind of survivor’s dependence on him. He knows that if you two came together sexually, you wouldn’t find him much to your liking. Nor, to be honest, would he be pleased with you. Your poor friend is very confused about what type of relationships he wants in general, but he wants very badly for you to be his friend. Lovers come and lovers go, but a true friend will stand the test of time. It’s a relationship you both need. I suggest you make it a point to work on your issues of dependence and sexuality. Seek more counseling. Counseling that deals with sexual issues in particular. You’ve made the choice to go on living. Now make the choice to go on living with totality. Write your friend a letter and let him know that you have a better understanding of the situation. Promise him you’ll work on your contrived attraction to him. I have a feeling he’ll be your best friend again in no time. You’ll find a real lover, when the time is right for you. One who knocks you reeling at first glance. It won’t be long.
Do you have a question for Liam? Ask Liam your question now.