Just Friends

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Several years ago I met someone on line that I was attracted to but he was not
attracted to me. Over time we became friends. Even though he lives an hour or
so away, we would get together occasionally for supper or a movie. I got to know
a lot more about him as a friend, and learned enough to know if would not have
been a good relationship for me. He needs a level of emotional caretaking that I
cannot provide, and has some deep-seated issues that, while he is working on
them in counseling, would become flash points in an intimate relationship. This
weekend, while we went out on a rare Saturday evening, he was the perfect
gentleman: opening car doors, insisting on paying for everything, and then sake
in an offhandedly joking way, “I haven’t been on a date in so long!” I playfully
replied “Oh Baby” and we hugged goodbye as we do. Now I’m wondering if I
should say something to forestall some change in his mind about who we are
together, or just wait it out. What say you?

Just Friends

Dear Just Friends:

I think you wait it out. He could have just been feeling lonely and/or
playful or thought you were lonely. Sometimes it’s nice to take
someone out and be a gracious host(ess). Perhaps he came into a
windfall and wanted to make you feel special. Unless he follows up
with specific romantic intentions, e.g. moving in for a kiss, or starts a
conversation about the mistake he made a few years ago by not
getting involved with you in a real relationship, simply steer clear of
that territory.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an answer on tap. If anything
happens that is overt, look him squarely in the eye and say, I love you
as a friend, but I don’t want to change how we relate in a big way. I
was sorry back then, but now I think we are in a good place, and the
right place, with one another. I hope the friendship continues as it is.