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Got Baggage? Tips to Get Back in the Dating Game

by Paige Parker
Author, "Dating Without Drama"
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This Article: If he seems to take the idea of dating you seriously, you may just have opened the door to start a conversation about something that's been on his mind for a long time too.

Hi Girlfriend,
It's the age old question: Can men and women be "just friends?"

The answer depends on who you ask.

In my experience, it seems that there are one of two scenarios going on in most close male/female friendships:

1. Both parties harbor secret feelings for one another and are afraid to confess it in case the other doesn't feel the same way and it ruins the friendship.

2. One person feels completely platonic (love-ya-like-a brother/sister) toward the other and would be totally shocked to discover that the other is interested in more than friendship.

I've yet to come across a super-close friendship between a man and a woman where at least ONE person hasn't at least CONSIDERED what it might be like to become romantically involved.

Call the the "When Harry Met Sally" Syndrome...

We've been conditioned by enough "happily ever afters" in the movies to believe that the one person we're meant to end up with has been right in front of us all along.

And hey, it COULD be...

But taking a special friendship to another level is tricky business, so if you're thinking of taking the plunge, read on for some advice on how to proceed.


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DRAMA OF THE WEEK: "Should I Tell My Best Friend I'm in Love With Him?"

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This email comes from one of my readers...

"Paige,
Since you seem to be the 'dating queen,' I'm hoping you'll be able to help me with my dilemma. I think I am in love with my best friend, who just happens to be a guy. I want to tell him that I love him without jeopardizing our friendship.

Is there a way to tell a guy you love him yet still maintain a good friendship if he doesn't like you back in that same way? If there is I'd be really glad if you informed me on this news. Thanks.
Sara"

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PAIGE'S DATING DISH TIP: "Only You Can Decide Whether The Reward is Worth The Risk"

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My Response:

"Dear Sara,
Thanks for writing. I totally understand where you're coming from. And although I've made it my mission to create a handbook for drama-free dating, there are just some situations that are inherently, well, dramatic! And, you guessed it - this is one of them!

Here's how I see it... Telling your friend how you really feel is incredibly risky. The only way that you can truly decide whether it's worth it is if the possible benefits outweigh the risks.

STEP 1: Answer these 3 questions, and be honest with yourself:

1) Am I sure about how I feel? Do I really love him in a romantic way, or do I just love the way his attention makes me feel?

2) Go with your gut here: "The thought of kissing him makes me...
A) "feel excited butterflies in my stomach" OR
B) "feel kind of icky, like kissing my brother."

3) Are these feelings surfacing on their own? Are you positive that they aren't a result of an external factor (rebounding from a breakup, feeling jealous that your guy friend is seeing someone new who's taking his attention away from you, etc.)

If you can answer 1) Yes, 2) A and 3) Yes, then continue on to Step 2...

STEP 2: Try to analyze where he's coming from based on a few factors:

* How long have you been friends?
- If you met a few months ago and became fast friends, and now spend every waking moment hanging out, there's a chance that he DOES have romantic feelings for you too and either can't get a read on you or hasn't had the guts to try to take things to the next level yet.

- If you've known each other since kindergarten, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may be stuck in the Platonic Zone. If he's had 20 years to make his move and hasn't, he just probably just doesn't see you "that way."

* How does he act toward you? Is he incredibly flirtatious or does he keep it totally buddy-buddy?

* Is he dating anyone right now? (If so, I definitely recommend keeping your feelings to yourself for the moment or he may be upset with your timing...)

* Has he been in relationships with other women while you two have been friends? If so, how has he handled it (tried to get you and the girlfriend to be friendly, dumped the girl if she couldn't handle his close relationship with you, etc)? This can give clues about how he really feels for you.

* How does he act when YOU'RE in a relationship with another guy? Have you picked up on any jealousy from him?

* Has he ever brought anything up - even in a joking manner - about what it would be like if the two of you got together?

If your answers to the above lead you to believe that he might be interested in you romantically, then I have one final thought for you to consider...

If you tell your best friend how you really feel and he doesn't feel the same, even with the best intentions on both of your parts to maintain the friendship, the truth is that the dynamic will be changed forever no matter what...

HOWEVER, if you feel very strongly that you are in love with him, the dynamic of your friendship has already changed, even if it's only in your head. If you get NEVER told him how you feel, you probably wouldn't be able to move past your feelings and be content with just being friends. How would you handle it when he found a serious girlfriend or got married?!?

The next time you're commiserating about bad dates or relationship troubles, you could try testing the waters to see how he feels by saying in a joking tone, "maybe WE should just get together. We get along better than anyone we date!" and see how he reacts. If he blows it off, just let it go and change the subject. But if he seems to take it seriously, you may just have opened the door to start a conversation about something that's been on his mind for a long time too.

Who knows... it might be the start of a whole new chapter in your relationship. And relationships that are built on strong friendships are the best kind!

There's no foolproof plan, unfortunately, but I hope that my suggestions will help you decide if it's worth the risk and give you an idea of how to approach the big conversation.

Good luck!"

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you're reading this right now and want to learn how to achieve a drama free dating life (and this applies to dating ANYONE - not just your BFF!)...

I recommend you download my ebook "Dating Without Drama" and the three bonuses that come with it today!

In it, you'll learn:
* Creative ways to meet men & how to attract them (Chapter 3)
* The REAL rules of calling and emailing (Chapter 6)
* The Do's and Don'ts of a Drama-Free Date (Chapter 5)
* How to tell if he's "Boyfriend Material" (Chapter 7)
...And so much more!

To get your very own copy instantly, just follow this link:
Click Here

Have a drama-free day!

I'll write you again soon.
Your friend,
Paige


PS - Spread the love! Forward this article to all of your girls who could use a little FRIENDLY dating advice!

 

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