I Have a 20-Year-Crush on A Man, And He Still Hasn't Asked Me Out!

I have read everything on your site, and no story matches mine, so here goes. I met the love of my life twenty years ago on a professional basis, and I knew right away that I was in love. We never became involved, only really good friends. He went on to marry someone else as did I, but we remained great friends with amazing chemistry always present. We have never been intimate; although, we did share one passionate kiss he initiated many years ago following a company Christmas party.

I am recently divorced, two years after he divorced his wife. We now talk a couple of times a week, and it is killing me that he has not asked me out. I compare all the other men I meet to him, and of course, none of them measure up. We have told each other that we love each other, but it never seems to evolve into more than just a platonic relationship.

Meanwhile, the men that are chasing me don’t have a chance because I am stuck in this torturous place, in love with my best friend.

We have seen each other through so much, and we are very supportive of one another. We talk about everything under the sun. But…it never seems to evolve into the whole enchilada. I have tried, several times, to cease contact with him so I can focus on another guy, yet he always calls and rekindles emotions in me. What do I do?

Maria

Dear Maria,

If you’ve read everything on this site, then you’re definitely familiar with the concept that men do what they want.

Now, of course, nobody actually thinks that this advice applies to them. It applies to other women who refuse to see reality. But not you, your relationship is different.

And if they’re not doing what you want them to, you have two choices: stay or go.

Now, of course, nobody actually thinks that this advice applies to them. It applies to other women who refuse to see reality. But not you, your relationship is different. Your feelings are real. Your chemistry is palpable. You’re in love.

Hate to say it, Maria, but splash some cold water on your face and wake up, you’re living in a fantasy.

Let’s start with your first line: “no story matches mine”. Really? I would say that about fifty percent of the emails I get come from women who are dealing with some form of unrequited love.

I’m looking through the archives right now: I Moved to Be With My Long Distance Boyfriend and Now He Ignores me

I Still Sleep With My Cheating Ex-Husband

I Love My Ex-Boyfriend, But He Only Calls Me When He Wants Phone Sex

My Catholic Boyfriend Refuses to Have Sex With Me. Should I Try to Seduce Him.

My Ex Keeps Promising to Commit, But He Never Follows Through.

And especially, this one: This Guy Loves Talking to Me But Does Not Want to be My Boyfriend

Are you getting the idea? Your story, Maria, is the most common story on Earth, the woman who is convinced that the man has equally strong feelings from her, except he’s just not acting on them, dammit!

Do you know how this sounds? It sounds to me like you are finding all the evidence you can to support your hypothesis (we have chemistry, we kissed once, he loves me platonically), except you’re ignoring the one thing that blows your hypothesis out of the water: He Hasn’t Asked You Out!

And if he’s been talking to you twice a week, in a period when he didn’t have a girlfriend, and he STILL hasn’t asked you out, guess what? He’s not going to. He thinks you’re nice. He thinks you’re cool. He thinks you’re safe. But unless he’s taken a secret vow of celibacy or has been trapped under a refrigerator since 2006, there’s nothing preventing him from asking you out.

Except for the fact that he doesn’t want to.

So if you’re perfectly content being in love with your best friend and not giving any other guys a shot, keep on doing what you’re doing. But if you ever want to find true love, by which I mean the reciprocated kind, you’re going to have to do these two things:

But unless he’s taken a secret vow of celibacy or has been trapped under a refrigerator since 2006, there’s nothing preventing him from asking you out. Except for the fact that he doesn’t want to.

1) Get out of fantasyland and realize that you’re not in love. You’re infatuated. Your chemistry is far stronger on your side than it is on his. If you still doubt me, remember: if he felt the chemistry that you feel, don’t you think he’d ask you out?
2) Slow down communication with this guy so he doesn’t have such a hold on you.

The more you treat him like a boyfriend, talking all the time, putting him up on a pedestal, the less time you have to devote to finding a guy who ACTUALLY feels romantic feelings toward you. If you need to cut off entirely, so be it. A good guy will understand that you need to go your own way to find happiness. Just don’t expect him to cut you off out of compassion, he likes you too much as a friend.

Finally, please own up to the idea that your story is not unique. The only thing that’s unique is that you’ve believed your version of events, you and this guy should be together – for 20 years.

Time to let it go and move on.