Almost Fell for the Wrong Guy
Q: I met two guys one night about a month ago, and ended up hooking up with one of them (let's call him Paul) for some kissing only. Paul lives very far away, and though he visited a few weeks ago and we had dinner together and we e-mail constantly, I wouldn't consider dating him. I think of him as a very good friend, but I know he likes me.
During this time I have also become friends with Paul's best friend, Adam, who lives in my city. In fact, I've fallen pretty hard. Sometimes I think he feels the same but cannot be 100% sure. The thing is that when I hooked up with Paul I knew neither of them. Now that I do, I know I chose the wrong one. Paul is coming to visit in a few weeks and I know I must tell him I am not interested in him romantically. Both Adam's and Paul's friendships are very important to me, and of course I'm hoping to have a chance with Adam. I do not know how to approach this situation without losing them both. -- Karri
Dr. Susan: Your so-called friendship with Paul is based on a mistake. He likes you romantically, which is understandable since you enjoyed that smoochy evening together a month ago. But you don't reciprocate those feelings. When you tell him this, he may not want to be friends. Some men don't want to "waste time" with women who reject them romantically. It's up to him to decide if he wants to continue any kind of relationship at all. If I were you, though, I wouldn't wait a few weeks to give him the information that you see him purely as a friend. The sooner the better.
As for your chances with Adam, wait until you're done with Paul, and then continue to get to know him. He may think you're "seeing" his friend and won't let his feelings show until you're fully available. It's unpredictable whether you'll be able to keep them both as friends, lovers, or anything at all. Best guy friendships can't always withstand the "sharing" of the same girl, even if it's one after the other as this is turning out. They're bound to talk about you and it could get uncomfortable for one or both of them. Next time, if you hook up with a stranger that soon, be prepared for the consequences when you have second thoughts.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.