Dear Maha, I love your Know-It-Alls and I wait for them with baited breaht. I am in a dilemma and don’t know what to do. I am so confused and need time to figure it out!! My best friend told me he wa s in love with me. I lvoe him very much because he’s amazing but fon’t know what to do. I don’t know if I am ready gor a relationship & with him it would be all or nothing. I can’t just date him! We’re too close! GRRRR!!!! Do I date other people and not tell him? Do I date him? I don’t want to loose him? Do I just ignore it? Do I go into a relationship with him? I don’t know anything anymore and I don’t want to lose him. He is so important to me and he makes me laugh and let me be myself and be stupid and we can talk about anything and we do and he’s GORGEOUS and so smart and I don’t know what to do anymore. What would you do? 🙁
Thank you for your warm and lovely note. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to read this kind of a “dilemma,” which isn’t a dilemma at all. I was just saying earlier today that I need to get away from some other toxic conversations and here you are, Confused! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Also, count your lucky stars that your best friend is in love with you — that alone is heart-warming in and of itself. Second, I understand that you need your room to figure things out. Completely.
Following are your options and their possible consequence:
1) “Date other people and not tell him.”
Yes, do this but only if you are 16 years of age. Clearly, this is a man for whom you have a great deal of warmth and respect and who holds you in enough regard not to play games with you. What you owe him is an equal amount of honesty and respect but only if you wish to keep him in your life in any capacity. Deal with any and all people only with honesty and integrity. If you don’t, then don’t be surprised when you are (mis)treated without either.
Please remember the following — if he discovers that you have lied to him and you have been dating others while he is waiting for your answer, then you will lose him, even as a friend. Actually, you will lose him especially as a friend. Ask yourself if having a few side pieces of ass is worth the loss of him.
2) “…do I just ignore it?” (aka “keep him hanging”)
Again. Are you 16? If you ignore this, then please see answer above. No one should ignore such a thing; not because it is “love” but because it is a kindness. Had he said “I like you,” my answer would have remained the same.
3) “…do I go into a relationship with him?”
No. Not if you’re not ready for a relationship. Clearly, you love him dearly and you don’t want to f/ck this up. Only engage if you are ready for a relationship. That’s fun for neither of you, and relationships must always be fun and foolish and reckless and filled with the most ridiculous abandon you can imagine. Only engage if you can engage entirely.
4) What would I do…?
Before I answer, I want you to take a moment and imagine tomorrow that he suddenly shows up on Facebook with a new woman. How does that make you feel?
If you just felt anxiety, then you have your answer. If you did not feel a twinge of loss, then he deserves a woman who will. And again, you have your answer.
As for me — if it was only a matter of time like not being ready for a relationship now, I would tell him exactly this. I would say “Thank you for loving me. I think you are this and that and a slice of halal turkey bacon and a side of corn with a dusting of butter and sprayed with my favourite perfume and then topped with vanilla ice-cream and a lot of chocolate sauce. I want to be with you, but I can’t right now because of x factor, so can we be friends and I know that what I am saying may sound like I am asking you to wait. Because it is. Will you wait? I really can’t wait to taste you, but I can’t just yet.”
Or, maybe I would dive head-first and drive over to his house to kiss him, because I am a fool for love and don’t wish to be anything less. Little kisses; slow kisses; getting ready for the more kisses. In a little bit.
However, if I did not like him, I would say “Thank you for loving me. But you deserve someone who will love you in the same capacity and that person is not me today and I know that it will not be me tomorrow. Please don’t wait. I want to remain your BFF but understand that this might change now.” And then I would give him the room to heal his heart, and I would pray that our friendship is strong enough that we might re-engage completely and totally platonically.
Here’s the most important thing in all of this — be true to your heart, and be true to the hearts of others. Also, be ready for the following possibility — that maybe by the time you are ready, he might have moved onto someone else.
This risk, it is yours for the taking. (In exactly the same way as my advice.)
I really really really really REALLY hope you message me to tell me how this turns out.
Lots of warmth and thank you so much for this wonderful and amazing “dilemma.”