Q&A: My friend has told me she has feelings for me

My friend has told me she has feelings for me, more than I realize, she says. Yet she also says she needs time and space, so she is suppressing her feelings. What is she telling me? Is it she really doesn’t want to see me any longer or is she afraid of something? Like being hurt. I really love this woman, more than I have ever loved anyone in the past. Can you help me understand what she’s telling me?

Thank you,
“Tony” (not his real name)

Dear “Tony”,

Without more background information, it is difficult for us to say exactly what is going on.  We gather that you must have told her exactly how you feel. You also call her “a friend.” So, we will assume that you were Platonic friends, then you developed romantic feelings for her, you told her, and then she tells you that she has feeling for you, too (perhaps after a while) but that she needs time and space. If this is what is going on, then she is simply pulling back, because (i) she didn’t expect anything other than friendship from you, and (ii) your sudden confession probably scared her, regardless of how she feels.

Try to put yourself in her shoes. A (different) female friend of yours (who you think of as a FRIEND) sudden proclaims that she loves you more than she has ever loved anyone in the past. How would you feel? Even if you liked your friend, you probably would be surprised at first, then before you could assess your own feelings, you would probably feel like she had suddenly put a big burden on your shoulders, a burden that you weren’t prepared for. Her happiness now would seem to depend solely on how you respond to her.  So, you would pull back. You would need time to think.

Back to reality: What can you do? Give her a BIG break. Give her the time and space she needs. Don’t contact her. Don’t talk to her, unless she contacts you. When she does, hold back on telling her how you feel. You already told her. She doesn’t need to hear it again. Not now. If she doesn’t feel the same way, accept her decision without any convincing or argument. Accept and move on. If necessary, read our book The Breakup Cleanse, available on Kindle on Amazon.com.

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