Sometimes when you’re single for a long time like I’ve been, you want a distraction. I don’t really want to date anyone but I miss how it feels to like a guy – so I start developing a little crush, but I’m not sure if it comes from somewhere real. Here’s why I can’t tell if my emotions for him are real or fake:
1. I’ve been single a while. I hardly remember how it feels when I start genuinely liking a guy. I have a tough time differentiating between friendly and romantic feelings for men anyway, let alone when I’ve been out of the game for several months. I can’t tell where my emotions are coming from or if they’re grounded in a good place.
2. I want a distraction from my crazy busy life. I love everything that I’m doing, but it would be nice to have a partner to share all that with sometimes. I like having someone to talk to about things, so I plug whichever guy I’m closest with as a friend into that position. Being busy is awesome but it can also get lonely.
3. He’s nicer to me than most guys. I know that’s not saying a lot, but it counts for something. When I feel like no guy in the world notices me, I have my friend to fall back on. That sounds terrible but it feels comforting. I just don’t know if my response is simply gratitude that a man is showing me some attention or more than that.
4. We have a good rapport. Of course it’s easy to develop crushes on friends—they let me be myself around them and they accept me for my crazy self. I hardly ever feel like the guys I’m actually interested in and/or dating do the same. How sad is that? Of course I’m going to develop affection for someone who lets me be silly.
5. He puts up with my crap. We’re buddies, and so of course sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. We tolerate it, we let it go, and once in a while, we call each other out on it. Funny enough, that’s a more mature way to interact than I ever have in my romantic relationships. I’m clearly doing something wrong here.
6. I have more interaction with him than any other dude. I’m worried that any developing crush I could have is simply about face time—I see and talk to him more than I do any other guy in my life. It’s like when people end up dating their co-workers—it’s comfortable and easy. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice.
7. He compliments me. There’s nothing at stake, so he says nice things to me all the time. It doesn’t imply any romantic feeling or serious development in our relationship, so I guess it’s a lot easier than doing it when dating someone. It’s either that or I’ve just been dating a bunch of emotionally handicapped idiots, which is very possible.
8. I feel very comfortable around him. I don’t feel that I have to present some facade of who I am—I can let loose with no worries about censoring myself. I’m like this with all of my female friends but because he’s a dude, I guess I attach a different kind of importance to it. This makes determining my real feelings very confusing.
9. When I need someone to chat with, I know he’ll be there. I spend a lot of time alone, which doesn’t bother me, but I’m definitely guilty of texting way too much to compensate for my lack of social face time with people. I want the best of both worlds—solitude and minimal social interaction at the same time. He always obliges me, and maybe that’s not a good thing.
10. I find him reasonably attractive, I guess. That sounds terrible, but it’s because I still can’t figure out if I view him as a buddy or something more. Once in a while I catch myself thinking he’s cute. Then, on other occasions, he elicits no reaction in me whatsoever. I guess that should tell me that I’m just bored, right?
11. I’m not talking to any other guys. I’m sure the biggest part of all this is that I’m not actively interested in another man at the moment. He’s the closest thing I have to an intimate male relationship in my life, so I kind of plug him into that in my mind. It’s not exactly fair, but as long as I don’t abuse the friendship, I hope it’ll be okay.
12. Even if I don’t like him, I want him to like me. Yes, I’m aware that this is completely stupid and selfish. I totally want the attention to make me feel good. At least I’m aware of it and I can start changing my mindset now to more healthy behavior. It doesn’t matter if my guy friend thinks I’m attractive or not, but because he’s close to me, I selfishly want him to feel something.
13. I really don’t know if I like him or if I just like the ego boost of his attention. I’m leaning towards the latter because when I think about not seeing or hearing from him for a while, it only makes me mildly disappointed. I know I’d definitely survive either way, so that either means I’m not unhealthily attached to him or I’m not attached at all. My feelings make no real sense to me anymore.