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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Relationships Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

One of my best friends told me he liked me. After I found this out he went away for the summer. We have kept up contact and I visited him often. I think I may like him. The problem is another friend of mine who is in town told me he likes me. I don't know which person I like or would like to develop a relationship with. I am leaning more toward the new guy because he lives nearby. However, my roommate and best friend has been romantically linked with him, but he doesn't like her and never has. I think I really like him and would I be an ass if I went after him? And what about my other friend who is out town for the summer? We have been friends for over three years.

Answer

There are several issues here. One has to do with how you make decisions about boyfriends, and the other concerns loyalties to friends. It appears that the only reasons you are interested in these two guys are because they have expressed interest in you and out of convenience. One happens to be in town while the other is away for the summer. Convenience and their interest in you are probably not the best of reasons for being in a relationship. It's no wonder you cannot make up your mind. Perhaps you should ask yourself whether you want to be in relationship for the sake of being in one or whether you are interested in the two people, whether or not they are interested in you.

There is a hint of desperation in your inquiry. Are you desperate to be in a relationship? If so, you might want to explore the reason for being so. If you are not desperate, then why are you even considering either one of these guys.

The second issue concerns loyalties. You have two friends here. Your roommate and the guy who is away for the summer. Friends are hard to come-by. Romances, especially at age 21, come and go. Friends often last a lifetime. Is it worth it to you to jeopardize either friendship by involving yourself in a summer romance? As far as the guy in town is concerned, the fact that he would use your best friend -- "he doesn't like and never has" -- suggests that he is not much of a bargain. Why not consider holding onto your friends and seek romance elsewhere?

3/5/98

Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years. He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation, couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing Bookstore Catalog.

Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.

 

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