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    Thread: Falling in love with a friend.

    1. #1
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      Falling in love with a friend.

      If you are fairly good friends with a girl, and there has never been any suggestion of the possibility of a relationship in the way you interacted, is it bad to develop romantic feelings for your friend? I would like to discuss this not as a psychologist (you) and a patient (me), but as philosophers. I don't want to tell my personal story, I want to talk about whether this is a good or a bad thing, in general. As you will probably say, I should tell her, and I did, she seemed to be cool with it, being the friendly and understanding person that she is. But I still feel bad about it.

      I feel like an unwritten rule of good friendship has been broken. It makes sense to me for her to think "I thought we were friends. But you fall in love with me?"

      My inability to give even a single argument for why this would be a bad thing to do makes me seriously doubt whether it makes sense to worry or not. I also have arguments for why it is NOT bad. 1) She looks good and her personality is attractive, it's inevitable. 2) It's completely natural and almost inevitable for a young guy to have these feelings for a young, attractive girl that he's known for almost 4 years. 3) She says she's cool with it, assuming that she is not lying, why do I still care? 4) I'm a lonely person, craving for the company of fun and interesting people, making it much easier to fall in love with someone. 5) I'm a lonely person, and I never see other girls beside her, unattractive family members and another unattractive female friend (excluding the few seconds I interact with a cashier at the supermarket or see a random person on the street), so it makes sense that I fall in love with the only reasonably attractive person that I know. 6) Even though we seem to be good friends, I didn't see her that often, so I might be imagining her personality to be much better than it actually is. 7) I've never had a girlfriend, never kissed a girl, never been on a date, never held a girl's hand (except for handshakes), making it easier to fall in love. 8) I may be imagining the high quality of our friendship, so maybe the unwritten rule never even applied.

      But still, I feel bad for breaking my own moral rule. I don't know how I got to have this code and I don't even have sensible arguements for it, but still...

      What do you think? I hope you will say more about this thing in general than about me personally. It's inevitable to some extent, because the context is relevant, but I hope I gave enough context to see it as 2 random people in this particular situation instead of me and my friend.

      I forgot to mention, I do NOT want to have a relationship with her. For various reasons I will probably never tell you. Just know that I see it as highly unlikely that I will change my mind about this. I see my feelings as a virus. No, seeing the feelings as intruders does not make me feel better about having them.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-17-2015 at 03:24 AM.

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      Join a gym and take classes. Lots of girls in these classes and exercise boosts your mood.

      Also do a coed team sport league in your city for the same reasons.

      Biology isn't right or wrong it just happens.

      You will be akward at first, but when these new friends ask you to go out, always go. You're loneliness will be majority cured within the year.
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      I don't want romance.

      edit: And I don't want advice. "Biology isn't right or wrong it just happens." I addressed this in my post. Wisher, are you sure that you didn't respond in the wrong thread?
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-17-2015 at 04:35 PM.

    4. #4
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      In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with harboring romantic feelings for your friends. It's likely to happen, particularly if your friend is very close. I am a very introverted person, as such I have a very tight circle of a few friends (5ish) that I am extremely close with. Two of those friends are female, and I, admittedly have mild romantic feelings for both of them.

      But when I think about it, it's easy to understand why. When you get close enough with a friend, you let them in your 'tender circle'. When someone is this close to you, you feel comfortable sharing your feeling with them. This is the case with my close friends. Sure we talk about video games and movies and whatever, but we also talk about our feelings. (Example: This person made me angry because... or This thing about my family bothers me...) We try to counsel one another and monitor each others' emotional states, and we are always honest and non-judgmental with each other.

      If you add the sexual element to that, you have what (in my opinion, anyway) is basically a romantic relationship. I personally see a romantic partnership as two very close friends who have accepted one another as a sexual partner.

      This is why you will find that I often go on rants about how the paradigm of romantic relationship as encouraged in the media and in society in general is so fundamentally broken. It's about superficial things like physical appearances, playing head games with your partner, baby talk, going on dates and out to dances, and all that other BS you see. These things aren't what mean people are in a romantic relationship. (Though some of these could serve as tools to bring you closer together.)

      So, no, I do not think that it is wrong to develop feelings for a friend. Quite the opposite in fact. I think that it is actually the best way to look for a partner. If you get to know someone instead of just asking out the first hottie you see, then you can weed out all the weirdos. Though the question I can't answer is how you should tell her about these feelings without it being awkward...
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      Well spoken Jade, I couldn't agree more! In any healthy relationship your best friend is your partner.

      Also, I don't understand why you would have this kind of code Ginsan. Who you like, is not some concious choice. Neither is falling in love, or wanting to be more than just friends. All of these feelings just happen for various reasons, but definately not because you were thinking: "Hmm, ok I'ma fall in love now.". It just happens, whether that is convenient or not. So I wouldn't feel bad about that at all. It just happened and you were honest about it.

      Though I do understand that you would feel bad. There are many good reasons to feel bad here. Just because you might logically not want any romantic stuff with her, doesn't mean it doesn't hurt when she says she doesn't have romantic feelings for you. (I am assuming that is how it went from your post, do correct me if I'm wrong.) You open up your heart and make yourself vulnurable.

      It's totally worth it when you find the right person though. At least that is what I believe, even though I haven't found her yet
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      Seriously... What is it with you people? The reason why I gave 8 arguments for why I should NOT be feeling bad, is that I KNOW these arguments, I have considered them, and I STILL feel bad. AFTER considering the arguments. Everything you 3 said was contained in these 8 arguments/reasons for why it's alright for me to develop these feelings.

      And no, I don't feel bad that she doesn't like me back. I would feel horrible if she liked me back, because I would be hurting her by saying that I don't want any romance.

      But that is NOT what I am trying to discuss here! Does it make sense to feel bad about breaking this moral code that I made up for myself? You know, it's quite frustrating when you want to talk about something and people don't even understand what you mean, let alone give any valuable insights. Though I did appreciate you sharing things about your own life, Jade. That's why I "liked" your post.
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      It makes perfect sense to feel bad about breaking your moral code. But it doesn't make sense to have moral codes. (other than the ones that are "built inside" like not killing)

      The moral code you're claiming to have about falling in love with friends, is not really a personal "moral code". I think it is more like, "Ginsan you're not allowed to fall for your friends because..." You know it's not a matter of "morality"
      Last edited by figurefly; 08-18-2015 at 07:21 AM.

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      I never intended to imply that you don't know any of the stuff I wrote. I simply read your post, and also saw the 8 reasons why it is logical that you fell in love. So I tried to add to that that it out of your hands since I didn't see that directly back in your post.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      If you are fairly good friends with a girl, and there has never been any suggestion of the possibility of a relationship in the way you interacted, is it bad to develop romantic feelings for your friend
      I was trying to answer this question you posed in the way you stated. Hence I explained why it is not bad, but out of your hands. Then I went on to pose a probility of why you might feel bad. I dileberately stayed clear of any advice. I only said what I believe in and how I think these things work.

      Like you said:
      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      I feel like an unwritten rule of good friendship has been broken. It makes sense to me for her to think "I thought we were friends. But you fall in love with me?"

      My inability to give even a single argument for why this would be a bad thing to do makes me seriously doubt whether it makes sense to worry or not.
      I only tried to reinforce this with some more arguments. Because I do believe this is not an unwritten rule. And I do not believe it is a bad thing.


      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      But still, I feel bad for breaking my own moral rule. I don't know how I got to have this code and I don't even have sensible arguements for it, but still...
      Again, I don't think it's bad because it's out of your hands.

      I'm not sure how I did not address your post correctly. But I am sorry if I gave you an answer to a question you weren't asking.

      As I am still unsure what it is you want to discuss here then let me ask. Do you want to talk about moral codes in general and how you can feel bad if you break one, even if you know it doesn't make sense? Or specifically this moral code? Or something else entirely, perhaps?
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      Actually, I don't even know what the hell I want. I have stacked up all the logic in favor of "it's alright", and I still feel bad. Maybe, a week later I will look back at this and say "you silly person. If only you'd known that this feeling would stay for just a couple of days..." I don't understand myself. The only thing I really expected when making this thread is that something would happen and I would not just be wrestling with my thoughts. And when I get out of my own head, other people say something about it, I'm forced to think in a different way, for example by telling other people about it, something happens. A change of direction. And when that happens, I get closer to resolving my problem.

      So what should you take from this post? I would conclude that I'm a mess, I'm being too dramatic, I'm just doing completely random things hoping that something good is going to happen. Maybe you are right, maybe some time later I will think "you know what? It was out of my hands, why did I even care so much?"

      I really don't understand what the hell is going on inside my head. I'm sorry I can't say anything sensible here. I don't even know how bad I feel. The past few days I've been fluctuating between "I'm a bad friend", and "It's alright, I don't understand what the problem is"
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      Seriously... What is it with you people? The reason why I gave 8 arguments for why I should NOT be feeling bad, is that I KNOW these arguments, I have considered them, and I STILL feel bad. AFTER considering the arguments. Everything you 3 said was contained in these 8 arguments/reasons for why it's alright for me to develop these feelings.

      And no, I don't feel bad that she doesn't like me back. I would feel horrible if she liked me back, because I would be hurting her by saying that I don't want any romance.

      But that is NOT what I am trying to discuss here! Does it make sense to feel bad about breaking this moral code that I made up for myself? You know, it's quite frustrating when you want to talk about something and people don't even understand what you mean, let alone give any valuable insights. Though I did appreciate you sharing things about your own life, Jade. That's why I "liked" your post.
      Woah, settle the fuck down, broseph. If you don't want the doctor-patient dynamic, don't assume the attitude of a frustrated patient caught in the grips of a crisis.
      -------
      There's nothing wrong with developing feelings for a friend. There is something wrong with confusing those feelings with love though.

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      So Gill, how would one go about telling apart "feelings" from "love"? You seem to be implying that I am feeling somthing else, like friendship? Or normal human affection/warmth?
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-19-2015 at 11:32 PM. Reason: I switched telling apart with discerning, because I wasn't sure if discerning meant telling apart.

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      Falling in love with a friend.
      Hmm, a typical tale. Romantic love is the human instinct to pass on one's genes. [Shrugs] That said, frankly this is not an unusual phenomenon in opposite-sex friendships. Though, it is usually the male whom goes head over heels and not the female.

      Ethics aside, mine firm belief is that whom we become emotionally attached to is ultimately a matter of choice, whether we realise it or not. Ergo, I find the whole "love just happens" cliché to be bogus. Yes, humans have primal instincts which compel them to interact, mate, and whatnot, but with enough discipline those instincts can be conquered. That said, when somebody gets dumped, rejected, or is having relationship problems of any kind...I can't feel any sympathy. In the end, it was their choice to get involved. As Barbara Taylor Bradford phrased it in one of her books, "we are all the authors of our own lives".

      Many fellow novelists I work with are of the opposite gender, but I never try to take it any further than that. Even if I might find them intriguing as a person, I always make it a point to uphold that professional barrier. We simply help eachother out, and that's how I like it.

      In response to the whole "Why I should not feel bad enquiry", put it this way: At least you didn't try to force yourself on her. [Smirks] Now THAT would have triggered a bigger backlash and even badder feelings than a polite rejection. If you ask me, lad, you had it easy. This is coming from someone who nearly got killed once just because a woman thought I was pining for her--when in truth, I didn't even care about her at all; I was just facing the wrong direction at the wrong time. [Shrugs] At least this way, you can still repair your friendship with the individual.
      Last edited by Aristaeus; 08-24-2015 at 03:19 AM.
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      Aristaeus, you seem to have misunderstood. The reason I feel bad is not because I was rejected, as I said, I would feel horrible if she did feel something similar for me. The reason I feel bad is because I feel guilt. I feel like I broke some unwritten rule of friendship. I wasn't rejected btw, the exchange was something like this: "hey.. I just wanted to say that I like you, and I feel uncomfortable about it" "uhh.... I don't know how to respond = D I appreciate your honesty though" "the best possible response is to say (and mean it) that you don't think it's bad" "I'm certainly don't think it's bad, it's alright" "*sigh of relief*" It wasn't a matter of me confessing and her either rejecting me or going out with me, it's more like 2 friends talking about some obstacle to the friendship.

      Though 1 point you made can be relevant to my situation. If I was better at detecting these feelings in myself, I could have prevented them from growing slightly more intense.

      edit: Maybe I'm the one who misunderstood. You did say "ethics aside", is that your way of saying that you're not going to discuss the issue of whether is bad or not to fall in love with a friend? And you're right in your last paragraph, I'm glad I didn't do anything stupid.

      Also, the guilt I feel has greatly diminished, I said before in this thread that that was a possibility. But maybe it will be refreshed when I see her again, I don't know. I still often think about her, to my surprise. I may be more into her than I thought. But now, strangely I don't feel bad about it at all. I didn't find any additional reasons to the 8 I already gave.

      Also, I am curious about how this is will affect our friendship. If she doesn't really care that I have developed feelings for her, maybe she's flattered that I find her a really nice girl And who doesn't like to be flattered, right? Surely my display of honesty is going to have a positive effect on our friendship. Maybe I have inspired her to be more transparent in her interactions with other people.

      I feel a bit guilty to admit that I made this thread almost purely to resolve my inner conflict, and not to have "extended discussion". Mods... Pull out your whips and punish me as you please.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-24-2015 at 02:08 AM.

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      Aristaeus, you seemed to have misunderstood. The reason I feel bad is not because I was rejected, as I said, I would feel horrible if she did feel something similar for me. The reason I feel bad is because I feel guilt. I feel like I broke some unwritten rule of friendship.
      I see, I see. I did understand, but I also assumed a portion of your emotional distress stemmed from the rejection. [Shrugs] Which is to say, mine mistake.

      Many people follow their own personal codes that they would hate to break--mineself included. That said, like an above poster stated, it does make sense you would feel guilt for having violated your code.

      Everyone makes mistakes; it is human nature. Said mistake could be a logical error, or simply a matter of perspective. In mine opinion, it is what we learn from those mistakes that counts, that shapes who we are--provided you live to learn. Having realised your "mistake", at least this way, you're more likely to make better decisions--or at least decisions that are better in your mind.

      edit: Maybe I'm the one who misunderstood. You did say "ethics aside", is that your way of saying that you're not going to discuss the issue of whether is bad or not to fall in love with a friend? And you're right in your last paragraph, I'm glad I didn't do anything stupid.
      Indeed so. What is seen as good or bad, right or wrong, is ultimately a matter of perspective. Thus, as a code (see that there?) I refrain from discussing ethics with anyone on any subject, since it's bound to provoke a skirmish. [Inclines head] Aaaaas demonstrated above.

      [UPDATE]

      I wasn't rejected btw, the exchange was something like this: "hey.. I just wanted to say that I like you, and I feel uncomfortable about it" "uhh.... I don't know how to respond = D I appreciate your honesty though" "the best possible response is to say (and mean it) that you don't think it's bad" "I'm certainly don't think it's bad, it's alright" "*sigh of relief*" It wasn't a matter of me confessing and her either rejecting me or going out with me, it's more like 2 friends talking about some obstacle to the friendship.
      Aaaah, I see, I see. The way you phrased it in your original post, to me it sounded as if you expressed these feelings with her and she responded somewhat negatively.
      Last edited by Aristaeus; 08-24-2015 at 03:01 AM. Reason: I made a mistake!
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      Inevitably, they destroy themselves." ~Saïx (Kingdom Hearts II.5)

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      I find it very nice to keep contradicting myself, because this means I'm learning something. *or I'm a total nutcase, but at least some of the times I'm learning something* But I'd totally understand if people reading this thread thought "wtf is wrong with this kid... Is he trying to have a discussion with us or is he just ramblinb/writing down his random thoughts?" But now I don't see it as a mistake anymore. If you ask me why I don't really care anymore I'd say look at the 8 reasons in my first post. Maybe the thing I learned here is to not take emotions too seriously, they often fade away quite quickly. And what I feel toward her.. It doesn't really matter. I think that it only adds friendly feelings, I don't feel that it's corrupting our friendship, the probablitiy of us "getting together" is so extremely unlikely that any single wisp of a thought about it would be a waste of processing power.

      So how would I conclude my little journey through my emotions? I dunno... Perhaps a "thank you very much DV" is appropriate. For allowing me to ramble online = )

      Also, I don't care now about whether it stays or goes away, I'm cool with it now.

      Edit: Okay, obviously emotions are not obsolete and we should pay attention to them. Maybe it's more accurate to say that we shouldn't take sudden emotions too seriously. My peace of mind has a pleasant emotion to it, but I take it very seriously, it's probably the greatest contributor to my well-being, but this can be trusted because it is constant. So maybe the amount to take emotions seriously should be at least roughly correlated to how recent it is. If you've been mildly depressed for 2 years, you might want to take a deep look at it
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-24-2015 at 03:47 AM.
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      The reason why friends shouldn't be romantic is because someone often makes it weird. You were making it weird. You were overthinking it, and you are getting all stressed out and feeling guilty over nothing.

      If two friends are just open and honest with each other and cool with things, then there is nothing wrong with mixing romance in with a friendship. If things don't work out, you just go back to being friends and it isn't that big of a deal. A lot of people are not capable of just going back to being friends though, they make it weird. They get all sort of hangups and the friendship doesn't work as well because of silly things.

      It is easy to lose sight of things when mixing emotions and stuff, and some times people can't help but act weird even when they know better. Just part of being human. You might have that unwritten moral code, because you know you will be weird if you get into a relationship with her. Though it isn't like you can help some random feeling that comes into your mind. How you act is entirely up to you though.

      Personally, I think friends are probably the best people to fall in love with, since if they are your friend they are probably capable with you. To have a healthy relationship with someone you need to eventually become their friend anyway. So starting as friends doesn't hurt that.
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      You're asking if it makes sense to feel bad for breaking your moral code, but the real question is twofold:

      1) Does this particular moral code make sense, and
      2) Does it make sense to feel bad for breaking a moral code that doesn't make sense?

      "Should" you feel good about having an opportunity to update your moral code?

      I could take it one step farther and ask if you should be more concerned about how your actions with regards to your feelings might have impacted your relationship with this woman. Maybe the feelings were never the problem to begin with.

      I pick up a half-eaten copy of a book by Neil Gaiman, and decide this is all his fault.

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      I'm going to contradict myself and make probably make myself look like a nutcase.

      Basically, I don't give a crap anymore.

      I don't care anymore about my relationship with this lovely girl. Neither do I care about my other friends. I see them so rarely that my relationship with them is quite irrelevant. I don't feel the need to explain to you wonderful people this change in attitude, I'm sorry if you are really curious I mean, why care about your relationship with people you only see once a month? It doesn't matter how much you love them and how much they love you, if contact is this rare you might as well not care at all. And my life is exciting enough without any company. In my thread about loneliness I voted "I am lonely and mildly depressed because of it", but I changed, like I do often do recently. And now I'm fine. I'm happy, even xD Even better! I am motivated by something to do with to make the world a better place, that I am growing more and more curious about psychology and I may have found the general direction of my career and a reason for doing some homework and getting accepted to a university. It's interesting how my attitude can change like this.

      "Dude, you just explained the thing you said earlier that you didn't want to explain" LADY! .. That's not the whole story. And I said that because I just felt like saying it, alright?! It's a big chunk though. Curiosity and excitement for learning new things may have outweighed my longing for company. But part of my excitement for going to a university (next year though, not this year) is that there will be lots of people there interested in psychology, just like me! So my longing for company is not completely extinguished but it is weak enough for me to have an enjoyable moment-to-moment experience without any friends. Well, I do have friends, but once a month... It's almost the same as no friends at all..

      Somebody: "You're an idiot, you know that?"
      Me: "I do... But why do you say that?"
      S: "Why do you only see them once a month?"
      M: "Well... They're busy..."
      S: "Obviously they don't give a fuck"

      Well... I don't know about that. They may not really care that much, and they might be just really busy. I don't know. I'm glad that I don't care anymore, I wouldn't have been able to figure this out anyway. Especially not by seeing them for 1/3-1/2 day once a month.... But perhaps I'm not alone in this.. I mean, who really has a high quality friendship? You do? For how many years? How much longer do you think that it's going to last? How much effort do you think you're going to make to keep seeing each other once your paths diverge?

      Maybe this is why romance is so popular, it's the only way to really have a worthwhile friendship with someone. Maybe romance is the only way to not have a lonely existence. Too bad that I have such a crappy self-esteem. Even worse is that the low quality of my self image is strongly justified by my unattractive looks and worse personality xD Perhaps if one day I have a decent amount of self respect, maybe by the time I am accepted at a university, I can see if one of the girls and I can get along especially well And then see how it goes from there ^^

      I'm rambling so much here... Being slightly sleepy has such a huge effect on me...
      Last edited by Ginsan; 08-29-2015 at 04:39 AM.
      figurefly likes this.

    19. #19
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      I've also be in cases like you and I choose to give up

    20. #20
      Consciousness in the Void Universal Mind's Avatar
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      Every time I have ever gotten romantically involved with a friend, the woman got really strange and awkward, expected way too much way too fast, and became a stranger. You are playing Russian roulette with a friendship when you bring romance into it, but sometimes it is worth the risk. If the other person is clearly very secure, things will probably be all right. Otherwise, your friendship will never return to Kansas.
      Quote Originally Posted by really View Post
      God cannot destroy himself because He is Omnipotent.


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