I met a guy at college. At first I didn't really pay much attention to him; he always looked kind of serious and cold. After some time in class, I caught him looking at me a couple of times, and then I started to think about him a lot (it was the biggest crush I'd ever had on a guy). I tried to talk to him via Whatsapp, first asking him something about our classes. With every message he was always polite, but only that – he never asked anything more. We went on like that, chatting occasionally at college, and only about our classes. Sometimes I'd catch him looking, but I always got shy so I just looked away.
Then, on my birthday, he sent me a nice message but he left my response on "read." Fast forward to a week ago, and I just wanted to know if there was a possibility of something happening, so I sent him a message explaining my feelings. He responded by saying that he wanted to talk face-to-face.
When we got together in person, he told me that he just ended a relationship and still had feelings about it, but that he didn't want us to be on bad terms because of the whole thing. I really didn't feel that bad about it, and I told him we were OK. So we parted ways, but then – like 30 minutes after the meeting – he sent me a really long text telling me that he wanted to apologize for not reciprocating my feelings, and that we have many things in common so he wanted to get to know me better, first as a friend and then maybe more. He said I didn't have to reply his text.
I feel really bad for confessing because I didn't know about his relationship. I told him not to worry about it and that we could be friends – that it was something I wanted to do. I don't really know what to do now. Should I leave myself open to the possibility that this could be more? How much attention should I give the friendship?
– A shy someone
Please don't feel bad for telling him how you feel. This crush could have gone on forever – you could have just kept it to yourself and obsessed over the meaning of every long classroom stare – but you chose to have an honest conversation. You asked for what you wanted and accepted the answer. Please give yourself credit for having the courage to disclose your feelings, even if it was by text (that counts). It takes some people years to reveal a crush. Some never do.
As for what happens now, I'd assume that this is – and will always be – just a friendship. His feelings could change over time, but it's in your best interest to assume they won't. You should think about whether you can see him as just a friend and whether you even want to. Would you be able to spend time with him without hoping for more? Remember that there is no obligation to continue a relationship, even by text. You can also take some space and see how it feels over time. There is no pressure to plan out your platonic friendship right this second.
The other thing to consider, now that you've had this experience, is that he could be the first of many crushes. You’re at a school full of people who might spark your interest once you get to know them. It's a good time to get to know many.
Readers? What should the LW do about this friendship?