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I’ve been single, on and off, for a couple of years and have a handful of close male friends. Recently my bestie reckoned that one particular friend has romantic feelings for me.
I had never thought about it before it was mentioned. If he does have feelings he’s hiding them well.
What are some tell-tale signs that he could be romantically interested in me? Should I be direct and let him know that I’m never going to want him in my life like that?
Love Doctor’s Answer:
Having someone who is secretly in love with you can be perceived as either a huge ego boost or an encumbrance. It all depends on how you wish to progress with this specific relationship.
Generally speaking an admirer tends to hide any romantic notions because of the fear factor of rejection, usually as they don’t feel worthy of being in a proper romantic relationship with the person they proclaim to like.
The other main reasons for saying nothing could be down to one of the parties already having a partner or simply sheer shyness.
There’s a plethora of potential ways that indicate when someone is secretly in love with you without saying so, especially if they are always attempting to grab your attention and spend as much time with you as possible by showing deep and pure affection.
Finding reasons to be around you, which includes sparking conversations about nothing in particular, is a clear indication of serious romantic interest.
With the advent of social media, is this particular male friend constantly being clingy by messaging you or liking your posts (or even commenting)? If he wants to relentlessly be involved with these snippets of your life then determine whether this is bordering on being obsessive or just being desperately in love.
Reading body language is extremely important in this scenario. Is there a cheeky grin, gooey eyes or nervousness? Does he unconsciously mirror your actions? Does this male constantly touch you? No one ever touches someone unless they like them, so it’s best to establish whether these touches could be conceived to be in a loving way or a more subtle manner of showing sexual interest.
If he’s attempting to get closer to you, but hiding the fact that there’s an element of romantic interest, he may show endless care, devotion and kindness. Any chance to help you is a strong tell-tale sign that he admires you, but wants the current friendship to develop into something more.
I suggest that you ask your male friends, including this particular man, about what sort of long-term partner they envisage you with. If any of them literally describe themselves, then there’s more than an inkling of them wishing to be much more than a friend.
This is when that magical feeling of being in love can be sugar-coated from reality. When in love we only see ourselves in a good light. Ultimately all logic goes out of the window, by following the heart, and an admirer is most likely to try to impress at every opportunity by becoming the proverbial knight in shining armour.
This feeling can catapult someone, who has fallen head over heels from afar, to keep aiming for self-improvement and constantly ask for your advice at each step if they are hell-bent on a potential romance. Improving their emotional intelligence rather than their bank account is a strong indication that this could be unrequited love.
If he’s wishing to try to move out of the friendship zone then he needs to give off the right signals, which would make him more socially attractive to you.
Although you’re determined that he’s not on your romantic relationship radar, despite building up a meaningful rapport as friends, it’s imperative to subtly speak in a group scenario (without intimidating him) about why one-way relationships can never blossom. Discuss the difference between love or lust, so that feelings can be openly explored but don’t get too defensive otherwise he may panic.
Try not to upset or embarrass this admirer in front of others that you don’t wish to pursue a romantic relationship with him. He will probably have been trying for some time to prove that he can be there for you emotionally, physically and spiritually by his genuine good intentions.
A direct approach may be required to determine the situation to gently let him know that you value him as a friend, yet would never consider him as a future sexual partner. At least he should respect what you tell him.
Once that’s been established, it’s vital to not afford this admirer the time to tempt you with his charms. If he doesn’t want to give up, be aware that he may well try to trick you into growing as a couple by simulating numerous senses, which includes the mind, by suggesting you do things together to get your brain ticking.
Be savvy and put your barriers up, he will soon get the message. If he gets upset, expect to temporarily see less of each other. Allow him to stew, or get into a strop, because if you can be friends in the near future your honesty will be valued and he’ll choose whether he will come bouncing back into your life but knowing his place is only as a friend.
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