When people think you're dating each other, but you're not, it's not cute. It's sad.
Dear Auntie Seraphic,
Your posts "Treated Like a Yo-Yo", and "Right Now Just Friends Man" really hit home.
I have been "friends" with a Nice Catholic Boy for longer than I would care to admit. By reading your posts, I have come to realize that as much as it deeply deeply hurts, it is time to say goodbye to the NCB. We text, call, and email almost everyday. Most people think we are dating, but we are not, and it has gone on all too long.
I know that I need to say goodbye to the NCB, but I also don't want to be rude and just drop off the face of the planet and not return his calls, emails, or texts. Like you said in your post, the "NCB wasn't wicked". He has actually been there at some of the most trying moments, I do deeply value his friendship, and all that I have learned in our friendship. He has been a good friend, even a great friend.
Once or twice I have thought of writing him a letter explaining that I need to step back and not have contact so he understands but have never followed through. So, all-wise Auntie, what is an NCG to do? How do I cut the cord without coming off as cutting and cold?
Cutting the Cord
Dear Cutting the Cord,
You might as well go for broke. He's your boyfriend in all but name and (I assume) kissing anyway, so this may call for one, go-for-broke, betting the rent money on one roll of the dice verbal question from you, which could be "So, want to be my boyfriend?" or "I was thinking of us getting married a year from June, what do you think?"
Normally I would never suggest this, but you are stuck in a total friend zone, thanks to all the daily phone calls, texts and emails.
If you're going to go down--and it looks like you're willing to crash-land the plane--you might as well go down in a blaze of glory. Obviously don't do this if your NCB is a priest or seminarian. But, frankly, if you two are such great friends--and you love him--why aren't you getting married? At least bring up the issue. That way, if it doesn't go the Hollywood way, and if you really never do want to talk to him again, he will definitely know why it's over. Anything is better than the slow death of love.
Yes, I am advocating The Talk. The Talk should not be dramatic or surprising or involve cupcakes with hearts on them as I saw quite horribly done on a British TV program about internet dating. It should merely be something like "We're such great friends; why aren't we more than friends?" (If he says, "Do you want to be more than friends?" Say "Yes." It's been more than a year; either he does or he doesn't. Time to find out.)
This should lead to an important conversation that might be painful, but might also bear a lot of fruit. If the outcome is that (for whatever reason) your friend wants to stay "just friends", you can gently tell him that, as much as you care for him, you need some emotional space so that you can find a husband. Be that blatant. Every woman called to marriage deserves a husband and shouldn't be impeded by less committed men from being available to real, honest-to-God suitors.
As I don't know if there are other women in his life, I have no reason to think he might be gay. However, I have to say that this is certainly one explanation of why a man might have such a close relationship with a woman without ever making a move. In the Catholic world, especially, such men are so terrified of rejection and isolation that they might take a very long time indeed before outing themselves, as one NCB eventually did to one of my letter-writers. If you have a sneaking feeling that this might be the case, I recommend reading "Always Our Children" by the American bishops.
The worst thing to do is to just try to starve the friendship to death. In your case, I really think it is time for The Talk. And I would say the same thing for a woman who has been dating the same man for a year without his ever mentioning marriage. One year, boyfriend or crush, is enough time to spend on a man who has no marriage intentions.
One last word about male-female buddy-buddy relationships. It's too late for you now in this case, but I think there is a real danger of falling in love with the wrong man when a woman's best pal is that man. Male-female friendships can be great, but I am very suspicious of buddy-buddy ones that don't soon blossom into romance.
I very much hope this is helpful. As a reader, you've been added to my Sunday prayer list.
Grace and peace,
AND NOW: a special treat!
Dear Auntie Seraphic,
I just wanted to write to you and say thank you. I finally got up the courage to have "the Talk" with the NCB. The NCB was shocked to learn of my feelings although he has since admitted that he realizes he has been leading me on for quite some time. He found it quite shocking that I would want to step away from our friendship to guard my heart. I had to laugh. Hearing him say this helped me to understand how much I have been torturing myself. I am so peaceful now that I have been able to step away. We haven't had any contact.
Also, I should let you know that no sooner did I say goodbye to NCB then a GCM (GREAT Catholic Man) magically appeared in my life. While it has been a short time I have not met a man with more purpose, character, and chivalry than GCM. He has pursued me and made his intentions very clear.
I have you to thank, Auntie, for this new adventure. Had I not said goodbye to NCB I would have missed out on GCM! Thank you for reminding me not to settle and to have faith and hope that there are great Catholic men out there.
Cut the Cord