RELATIONSHIP: I'm confused
Article #: 255864
I'm starting off by saying thank you for taking the time to help me with this problem I've been having for a while. I don't know what to do. I'm in college and I've never been in a real relationship, but I feel like I have a grasp on how it works and how to know when someone likes you. I've liked/loved my best friend here for as long as I've been at college. Nothing ever happened between us during our first semester; in fact, he dated my friend for a couple of months, but broke up with her in January. I had come to terms with them dating, even though I still had feelings for him. After he broke up with my friend, things started getting a bit different from the way he treated me our first semester here. He has started treating me, well, frankly, like he would treat my friend when they dated. He sits next to me most of the time, and I catch him staring at me when he thinks I'm not looking. He strokes my face and holds doors open for me. He puts his hand at the small of my back and applies pressure when there are no crowds to lead me through. It seems like he takes opportunities to touch me and flirt with me. He just seems like he likes me. The problem is, he doesn't treat me this way around our friends. He usually only does this when we're alone or around people that we don't know that well. This confuses and hurts my feelings greatly because it seems like he likes me, then he treats me a different way completely when we're with our other friends. It also makes it difficult for me to communicate to my friends that it seems like he likes me, because they've never seen him act the way he does. Sometimes he even ignores me when we're with our friends. It makes me feel unloved when he does this. I feel down on myself every time he treats me this way because I go back and forth wondering what I've done wrong and why he won't man up and treat me one way or the other. I guess what I'm asking is:
1) Is this normal friendly behavior, or am I right about him liking me?
2) If he does like me, why does he act two different ways toward me?
3) How can I tell him to stop acting the way he does if he doesn't like me?
Thank you for taking the time to help me with this, because I've reached wit's end and I had no one else to turn to.
We are a group of 6 Elders - 4 ladies and 2 gentlemen. Thank you for writing.
From what you describe about your friend's behavior toward you, we can understand why you are confused about what is going on. One of our Elders even questions whether he is hiding something that he doesn't want you or someone else to know about. Under the circumstances, the best thing you can do is to talk to your friend and find out what is going on. You don't have to be confrontational, but you should let him know that you are confused by his mixed signals and want to make sure you are both on the same page.
You deserve to be treated with honesty and respect. Make it clear that this is what you will give to a relationship, but that you expect the same in return.
We hope our advice has been helpful to you. Good luck and thank you again for writing.