I have a good friend I met through work about four years ago. Once we met, we started meeting up during lunch breaks, going on dates, and hanging out outside of the office. A couple months after meeting, I tried to express how much I liked him and that I wanted something more, but he said he wanted to keep the relationship casual. I was a little hurt but understood where he was coming from. He had a lot he was dealing with personally at the time.
After saying he wanted to keep everything casual, we still stayed in touch and have met up for drinks multiple times as platonic friends over the last four years. I've struggled a lot with this relationship because I really want to keep the mindset of a platonic relationship and just being friends, but can't help it that I feel a stronger connection to him than just being friends. He has also made comments over the last few years referencing to "when we are married," and I'm still questioning his meaning behind those words.
People will constantly mistake us for a couple and it's tough to hear because I do feel like I've never been able to connect to anyone else like I have with him. Long story short, him now dating other people has started to make me jealous. This friendship has become emotionally draining for me, and I wanted your advice. I don't want to lose him as a friend, but should I cut ties with him completely? Is it possible to keep a platonic relationship healthy with a friend I have feelings for?
"Is it possible to keep a platonic relationship healthy with a friend I have feelings for?"
Not in this case. You’ve tried to be his platonic friend and it hasn't worked. More accurately, it's worked for him, but you've been pretty miserable. Now you're miserable and jealous. Whatever's good here doesn’t outweigh the unhealthy. My vote is: end it.
I say this, by the way, as someone who logged an incredible number of hours pining for a platonic friend or two when I was young, in my early to mid-20s. There were lots of hints from those people about later. For the record, later – with romance – never came.
Please don't wallow in too much guilt when you tell him he won't be hearing from you because the platonic relationship isn't working. This man has dangled some possibilities in front of your face to keep you around. You mention his "when we're married ..." talk. That sounds like manipulative, thoughtless behavior.
"I do feel like I've never been able to connect to anyone else like I have with him."
This statement is the one that got to me, by the way. Because even though it's true, it's the reason you want so much more. Please seek out others with whom you can connect in more fulfilling and honest ways.
Readers? How many hours have you logged in this kind of friendship? What was the outcome?