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You Asked: Is This a One-Way Friendship?

Dear Sugar,

I'm really confused about my relationship with one of my male friends. He's gay, so there's nothing even remotely romantic about this dilemma. My problem is that I'm not sure whether or not he values my friendship as much as I value his. He's a photographer and we initially began hanging out when he asked me to model for a couple of his projects. He was so happy with my work that he ended up using me as his model in the vast majority of his projects after that. In working together, we became very good friends.

While we always have a good time together, he just doesn't seem to make any effort towards our friendship when it doesn't have to do with him telling me about the next project he has coming up. Now, I know the obvious answer at this point would be that he's just using me for his work, but it's a little more complicated than that. When we do hang out, he always tells me how much he values me as a friend. In fact, a few months ago he even suggested that we become roommates! He's always struck me as completely genuine when he says these things.

We met up again recently, and I felt as though I was a burden the whole time. When I brought the roommate subject up again, he seemed completely disinterested. He does have a ridiculously large circle of friends so I can appreciate the fact that he has a lot of other things going on in his life, but I just wonder why I seem to get the cold shoulder sometimes. To be honest I'm getting a little fed up with it. What now?

— Friend or No Norah

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Dear Friend or No Norah,

It certainly sounds like your friend is more invested in you as his model than as his confidant, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's just one of those people who acts friendly with everyone, but isn't all that close with anyone. But even if I'm wrong, and he is completely genuine when he says that he values your friendship, he's still not acting like it and that's the real problem here.

The old adage "actions speak louder than words" applies to friendships just as much as relationships. And right now his actions clearly state that he's more equipped to be you acquaintance than a good friend. So I say, leave it at that. Once you change your expectations I think you'll find that things start to be easier. If as you back off, he suddenly starts making an effort then I think it's worth bringing up your concerns Otherwise, just enjoy him as a hobby-related friend and nothing more.


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