Attraction in relationships


#1

Greetings,

I have yet another relationship concern. This time with one of my own relationships. Ok, so here is the low down. I have a very strong friendship with one of my old school friends and I am a year older than he is. We only really got close as friends at the start of last year. However, I guess, I’ve like the way our friendship has been going and I never really thought anything much more of it. Although, I did have a bit of an inkling at the end of last year, that he did like me. And I spoke to my spiritual director about him and we both agreed that he would make an ideal guy but not right now as we both are quite young (me, 21 and him, 20). So, I guess, let the friendship blossom more.

I left the situation, until Valentines day, where he pretty much proclaimed his feelings for me. I honestly, didn’t think it was going to happen this early. And I got the worst feelings ever - like the ‘what have I done?’ and guilt. I don’t know why?! So, pretty much I thanked him and just tried to avoid him for 2 wks. So i never picked up calls or texts. Until we talked about it later. I admitted that I wasn’t on the same page and I didn’t have those feelings just right as yet. Plus, Im not interested at this point as I plan on doing so much before getting committed to a relationship. I.e. My studies abroad and travel where I won’t be in the country for about 7 months of next year and complete my thesis. He understands and knows that. He said that he plans to work on himself until I go and come. So suggesting, he’ll wait for me. I told him straight out - No, not now and not to wait if he meets someone else. And I thought he would back off. But surprisingly he didn’t do what most guys would do, and leave the situation. But for about 3 months I didn’t talk to him properly and it’s been really rough because it feels like he wants more than friends. And I feel that Im not ready for more than friends with anyone (as I want to clean my self up and be in a better position in life before introducing someone else into it). However, he is such a wonderful guy in terms of all ideal qualities are marked off with him and he is the one guy who I can be completely honest and myself with. Yet he won’t judge me.

The problem is… I don’t have those really really strong feelings of attractions. I also plan to do so much before having any sort of relationship - go off to study for 7 months overseas in about 4 months, finish my thesis and I want to launch my career once I get back. And I don’t know, after last week as we hung out and were quite affectionate (for Catholic standards) if those feelings were real. I feel I don’t even understand my own feelings because there not the very strong - ‘I really REALLY like you/ nervous to see you’ kinda feelings I’ve got for other previous guys. The normal everyday ones for my friend are kinda like - when I see you, I’m happy and when you go, I miss talking to you kinda feelings. And I don’t know if this is kinda forced on or not. Or if, they started because I’ve given in and just reciprocated about a month ago. I don’t even know if I am even suppressing them because this coming week is going to be one of my most stressful weeks with all my university assignments due.

I mean, now I feel I can’t go back to ever being friends because of last week. I feel more pressure to enter this relationship - yet I don’t have the typical ’ I really REALLY like you feeling’. I’m honestly, so scared of loosing him as a friend and hurting him. I spoke to him yesterday and I told him a few things. I.e. I’m going to back off a bit because I don’t even have strong feelings and I don’t have the time to go out right now.

I guess, my question would really be. What are the, ‘your the right person’ feelings like? Am I lying to myself with these feelings? (I know relationships aren’t based solely on attraction or feeling) but what am I meant to be looking out for?

Honestly, he would be the guy, I’d want to be with one day. And, I do think about him alot especially when something happens that’s good. I like to tell him. But I don’t know if he’s for me, if these feelings aren’t strong. Nor, do I know if they are right.

Anyways,
hope someone could take a stab at my concern.

Many Thanks,

Lenni


#2

I'm not one to tell you how to think or act in your situation, but looking at your situation objectively, I think you need to be "just friends". If in the next few years he is still in the picture, you and he will be more mature, more prepared to deal with your feelings. You will have had the opportunity to judge your feelings for him to others you will have dated. Also, you will have satisfied some of the restless feelings you now have of what you need to accomplish in life, unfettered with relationships. Tell him you both need time. Don't just write him off. You may sadly regret that in the future.


#3

Sometimes, those "really, really strong feelings of attraction" are not the healthiest impulses to base a relationship on. In fact, I believe that they never are, but some people do feel that for each other and they have other strengths as well. Sometimes, being strongly physically attracted to a person comes from some weakness inside ourselves, or from lust. The attraction changes over time and sometimes disappears completely, but commitment and true love are a better cement than mere attraction.

You seem to have valid reasons for not getting serious with a relationship right now. You've told your friend this, and he is not deterred. Now is the time when you need to detach, and go forward with your life, while still maintaining the friendship. Not easy, because he wants more and you do not, at present, yet you seem not to want to let him go, either. He is a good young man and might be your life partner, and it would hurt to lose him.

The only answer is prayer. Ask God what to do, and listen for the answer. If your plan is not what God wants for you, you will find out over time.


#4

None of us can tell you what those ‘right feelings’ feeling are. It’s like trying to describe the smells and sounds of a late summer wildflower garden to someone who’s only ever lived in Antarctica. I can only tell you that when you’ve met the right person at the right time (both are critical), you will have that ‘this is it’ feeling.

Sounds to me that at this moment in your life you need to focus on your studies and your travels. If he chooses to wait for you and improve himself in your absence, so be it. But please, please, please do not allow his decisions to guilt you into a relationship you don’t want, aren’t ready for, and will only resent him for down the road.

As far as what to look out for, this is th best I can offer: I knew my husband was the one for me the moment I realized that his life, his contentment and his happiness, were as important to me as my own. He didn’t pressure or guilt me into these feelings; they came to me gradually of their own volition.


#5

Thank you all for replying.

I guess over these past 2 weeks. Iv been having a bit of gnawing feeling that maybe it’s not the right time and I should definitely tell him a direct ‘No’ as we are just friends. Only, since Im now in the grey-ish area between being his gf and being friends. And I can’t live with that, because it’s like their are strings attached and in my mind it has to be Yes or No.

And right now it’s a no, although over the past 2 weeks my actions have told him otherwise. And also, I haven’t been too prudent with what ive said and how long ive spent talking to him. So i’ve told him alot of stuff that implied that I would consider it (and that’s only if that’s what I feel God is telling me to pursue it in the future). And yes that is a possibility but it still is making him attached. >< And plus, I feel heaps of pressure since he has told his parents and family about me and his feelings - And the fact, he would love to go out with me. However, honestly… i would feel soo very sad with telling him no (but maybe a bit relieved in terms of pressure). As, i honestly am really really scared of loosing him as he is one of my best friends. But at the same time, maybe I should significantly cool it. Im just honestly, really scared of loosing him because he has all the traits i want. Is what I am about to do right? To tell him this? (in a less sugar coated way and direct this time)


#6

Seems really simple, if you think you are going to want to be married in the next year or two; it sounds like he is a very likely candidate (assuming he is a Catholic). If not, seems like you should tell him you want to just wait a while, as there is no sense in havnig a serious relationship since you don't want to get married in the near future.


#7

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