This man loves you with love but you feel bad because you only love him with friendship?
Today I reply to Annick, a woman member of our beautiful community my friend my sister: “Hi Claire. I just watched again one of your old videos which really speaks to my 15-year-old daughter, who lost her best friend because he was in love with her but it was not reciprocal. She tried and even believed at some point she was attracted to him. However, she had to admit, to herself and to him, that she loved him only as a friend. How can she feel better. Thank you so much Claire for your help. She is terrible sad. I am sad to see her like that. I am sure you’ll find the words that I cannot find.”
Annick, what an important question because it is linked to authenticity. The question is: is it better to avoid hurting someone’s feelings with the truth or is it better to tell things as they are but with the utmost kindness? In my humble opinion, I do try my best to nut hurt the feelings of people I love, but truth comes first. Nothing is worse than ambiguous language, false hopes and disappointments which can ruin people’s life.
Let me share about three very important men in my life.
The first one is S. I am very aware that S. has been in love with me forever. We know each other by heart and grew up very close to each other for a period of time. I know he loves me but I never gave him false hope because it was not reciprocal. He is my friend, my brother, the one who knows me more than anybody else, the one to which I can tell everything. To be very clear with him is what helped him move on in his love life and enjoy healthy romantic relationships. Yes he was sad, but my authenticity enabled him to keep a healthy friendship with me while having girlfriends. I know he loves me, he knows I know, but he is aware too that I take care of his heart with tender loving care. So he can move forward, get things done in his life and doesn’t feel sadness when we see each other.
The second man is N. For me, N. was first a true friend. His friendship was like the most obvious thing. We had so many shared interests that everything was so flowlike, easy and natural. Yes he was only a friend, but I couldn’t see my life without him in the picture. I also believe we had a lot of mutual admiration. Then, slowly, I saw him with different eyes after he mentioned he would love to be my man. Alright, you know me my friend my sister, I don’t do stuff half-assed. So I went full on in that, falling totally in love with him. I thought it was a long-term relationship. Honestly, I didn’t understand why, but he left me all of a sudden. I guess he had external obligations which took the priority over loving me. Honestly, it hurt so much when you love someone and he says “I love you like a friend”. This is the worst, isn’t it? Sincerely, it took a long time to get over that shock. If if calls me tomorrow, I am not sure I’ll answer the phone because it would hurt too much to see him turn the page, get married and so on. Of course, I don’t dwell and even realized we were not so compatible anyway, there is a gap between feeling happy for him from a distance and looking at his wedding photos. The lesson? Being crystal clear from the beginning. Love? Friendship? Quick short-term love? True deep long-term relationship? Life is hard enough, so if we can avoid causing pain on someone, that’s great. Let’s have this bravery.
The third man is Y. I know Y. and for a long time. We are close friends. However, I feel he is attracted to me. Moreover, he doesn’t really have any romantic relationships. The more we see each other, the more I feel it hinders his love life. Even worse, I feel I am directly causing him pain. Consequently, I decided to put some distance between us. I cannot be the one who prevents him from moving forward in his life. I have no magical solution. I am very sad. Of course, if he calls me tomorrow, I’ll answer it. But everything has changed. In his case, the pain of not being able to have me as his girlfriend was too much to continue the friendship.
To summarize, I would say to your daughter to think of N. It is not that she made a mistake by saying the truth. the thing is, her authenticity made it impossible to pretend that nothing had changed. Lastly, please tell your daughter to keep hope. One day, he may find a girlfriend and get in touch with her again but as a friend.
I am obsessed with telling things as they are. Of course a little bit of diplomacy can round some corners. Still, this thirst for authenticity pushes me towards people who simply tell the truth. It may be a bit harsh to hear sometimes, but at least these people had the immense bravery to speak when it was not easy. For that, I am grateful.
The end of the story goes like that: two of these dear men have read my book The Knot in the Spiral. Therefore, they know a lot about me and this is also why I love them so much. Because there is nothing to hide. Truth sets you free. Simplicity makes life easier.