Dear Annie: I’m a young man fresh out of high school and taking life one day at a time.
“Rachel” is my best friend. I’ve known her family for many years. We confide in each other and have no walls. She’s quirky and sometimes calls me when she’s home alone because she’s frightened of thunderstorms. She is often physically close and says she loves me because I don’t judge her.
I’ve had feelings for Rachel for a long time. I’ve watched her date many guys over the years, and the relationships go nowhere. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve “dated” more than any of those other guys. I want to spend my life with someone who is also my best friend. But I have told Rachel how I feel, and she brushes it off.
This has caused fights where I wouldn’t talk to her for weeks and found out from other sources that she was miserable. I don’t know what to do. Advice, please? – Stop Kicking My Heart Around
Dear Stop: Your feelings for Rachel are much more serious than hers, and she simply is not ready for such a relationship. It’s also likely the “love” she professes is not romantic, but the kind between close siblings. She is dating others. You should, too. You have focused so much on Rachel that you have excluded the possibility of finding someone who may be more interested in and equally suited to you. Please don’t rush your future. It will be easier for both of you to evaluate your relationship more realistically if you can create some emotional distance.