This is my first post on this discussion forum…I have been lurking for some time, and I thought someone on this forum could maybe…enlighten me.
Anyway, here is the problem. I have developped a strong friendship with a friend of mine - let’s call him John. I have never been in any ‘romantic’ relationship before, but I have had many male friends over the years, and I usually get along fairly well with all of them. However, my relationship with John is different from that I have with other guys. It’s deeper, I would say; we have been discussing quite a lot of issues that usually don’t come up in my conversations with other male friends. Beside that, I have had the opportunity of observing John in several contexts - at church, in family and group settings, during one-to-one conversatons, and I have a great deal of admiration and respect for him, the way he handles relationships with others, etc…
I sense that he is more interested in me than in other girls around, that he is in fact very interested in keeping our friendship going. From what I feel and from people’s ‘hints’, I suspect he may be ‘in love’ with me. And the problem is…well, I don’t know if I am able to reciprocate this feeling…or, in other words, I don’t know whether what I am feeling could be love, or something akin. Why ? you may ask. As I have said, I have deep respect and admiration for him (though I’m also aware of his shortcomings !!), but…I don’t feel ‘physically’ attracted to him. Not that I would find him repulsive in some way !! No, I’m just…not attracted.
Now, people normally assume that when there is no physical attraction, there can be no ‘love’. But I remember that my mother once or twice said that she did not find my father handsome when she married him. As they have built a big family together, and are a great couple, I assume that even without finding him ‘handsome’ she still loved him !
I deeply respect and like John, and I would never ever want to hurt him. Should I ‘back off’ in some way, in order to avoid the development of any ‘deeper’ feelings on his side ? Or should I keep seeing him so often ? He really is a huge positive element in my life, so I would not like to lose his friendship, specially since in fact, I myself may be feeling ‘something more’.
Sorry for such a long post…Any advice ?