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Platonic Friendships

Group Therapy: Is My Best Guy Friend Holding Me Back?

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Like many women, my best friend is a guy. I will call him John; he is sweet, charming, my knight in shining armour. He has been my rock through and through for years and I am just as dedicated to him.

I do not have a boyfriend; it's been four years since I've had one. I often joke that I don't need one, as I have my "John" . . . here lately even I'm not buying that. True John and I go on dates, and even have taken vacations together! But I am female. I want an intimate relationship! I want to be wooed and wanted, loved by a boyfriend! (Before the assumptions are made, John and I have never had more than a kiss on the cheek, and he has had girlfriends during our friendship. It's platonic all the way around.)

I am lucky, and I wouldn't give up John for the world, but at the same time other friends have told me they think he is holding me back from meeting other men. When I ask them to explain themselves, they all pretty much say "he just is" . . . I don't see it. I love John very much, and will admit, he has set the bar for the way I want any man in my life to treat me . . . is this a bad thing? Is he holding me back?

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GregS GregS 5 years
I think you're very comfortable around him and in him. You're safe and secure. There's nothing wrong with that until... What will you do when he finds "the girl"?
lickety-split lickety-split 5 years
holding you back from what? you sound very happy and don't sound interested in making any changes. your life works for you. it doesn't need to work for anyone else.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 5 years
I get the sense you have feelings for John that you are not admitting to. You are pretty much gushing about him throughout this post and you admit to holding every guy up to this John standard. But, if I'm completely wrong and John is truly just a friendly brother type, then it does kind of sound like your standards for dating are very tied up with this guy and therefore, yes, you are letting him hold you back. Try to get out there and not judge every guy you go on a date with as something that doesn't compare to this John fellow. If you keep doing that, you'll never find anyone as awesome as John to be your boyfriend. Unless that's exactly the point...
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 5 years
I think a truly emotionally platonic relationship between straight men and straight women is extremely, extremely rare. I'm listening to what you say your friends say about your friendship, and I have to think that those people who really know you are onto something. I know that if anyone asks you if you have romantic feelings for him, you would say no, because that's what you are supposed to say. But I would encourage you to take a really honest assessment of your feelings. At the end of the day, it's not going to be this guy who is holding you back, but it could be the choices you are making related to this guy.
pax4pax pax4pax 5 years
Is it possible to talk this over with him and see what he thinks about your taking some time away from him, maybe nine months, so that you can see whether your bf issue resolves itself when he's not there as an advisor? If yes, then he's not interested in you and you should try this "solo" time. If no, then he must be interested in you and you should discuss that openly and fully.
chibros chibros 5 years
Well, he is actually not holding you back. You just want to graciously wait for him. You said "he had girlfriends", I wonder if he is single at the moment. If he is, why don't you try making a move, that is giving him signal that you want more, or you can even be straight forward. Then his reactions towards it will determine if you can move on or moving into what is worthwhile with him. Even if he have a girlfriend now, you might as well try bringing up the topic of you "getting a boyfriend". His responds will determine if he is really holding you back, if he wants something more or if you should go ahead with getting someone for yourself. That will really help you to know your stand..
somekindofmagic somekindofmagic 5 years
I don't get the feeling that you view John as the one but I think he has become a safety blanket to you. It seems like something about being in an intimate relationship is scaring you. I only think this because 4 years it's quite a gap of time, lady. If you think about it that is almost half a decade. You need to take a friendship break from your dear friend just to take yourself away from the comfort blanket for a little while. This isn't hurting your friend. He has had relationships and experienced being in love. But you're being held back which isn't a great deal on your end. It's time for you to put yourself out there and go on dates and realize that men will not be perfect. Even your friend is not perfect when he is in a relationship - I'm sure. He is perfect because you aren't dating him. You have to realize everything won't always be perfect but create a list of what you think is important in a mate and don't compromise.
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 5 years
I can see what your friends mean in the way that it seems like you spend a lot of time with John, going on dates and since you "rely" on him in a way, you are not meeting new people or dating other guys. I'm not saying you should stop spending time with your best friend though, you seem to have a special bond and a great friendship. However, if you want to have a boyfriend, maybe you should try to meet and date other guys. Start a profile on a dating website, go out with your girl friends, get a new hobby, etc.
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 5 years
No. You're holding yourself back. Either you've been fooling yourself and you really love John as a boyfriend, or you're just stalling. If you're stalling, I can't blame you. Dating can be brutal. It's a rough game at times. But all the delicious benefits a boyfriend provides--that John never can--make the effort worthwhile.
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