I’m in a bit of a confusing situation. My fiance is away in basic training, and my best friend who’s a guy- let’s call him Dave- happens to be pretty good friends with him. Dave was my best friend before he met my fiance. He’s still pretty good friends with me. In fact, to me, he’s much like a brother- very caring and protective of both my physical and emotional well-being.
The problem lies here: I don’t think that what I feel towards him is exactly what he feels in return. I think he may actually have some sort of emotional longing for me.
Exhibit A- I went clubbing with him and my 2 friends the other day, and when I asked him to come save me from some guy grinding all over me, he nudges himself in between the two of us, puts his hands on my hips, and the other guy leaves- though the other guy is gone, his hands remain on my hips.
Exhibit B- He, my friend, and I went out to the city and weren’t back until 4 am, and I let them all crash on my couch (which is a futon) while we all watched a movie. While I was half awake-half asleep, I felt him get up, turn off the tv, and lay down beside me, practically spooning me. His hand was lightly grazing the small of my back. Suddenly, I hear a sigh from his direction, and his hand magically appears on my waist. And stays there all night.
The reason why I can’t come to the conclusion myself: He NEVER expresses any sort of touchy-feely emotions towards me or anyone else unless he’s dating them. Even then, he’s still highly introverted. So my questions are does he have feelings for me beyond what they should be and, if so, how do I confront him without ruining our friendship?
If you’re weirded out a little by Dave’s affection, there’s almost certainly something to it. Especially when it looks suspicious from every other angle, too.
For instance, if the DW puts himself in your fiance’s shoes, he’s not exactly thrilled with Dave. Maybe the dancing thing on its own is no big deal, but the sleepover cuddle maneuvers? Call the DW old fashioned, but he doesn’t want another dude half-spooning the Wifey all night. That taps into some crazy caveman shit in the back of his brain and gets him thinking about introducing his best brontosaurus femur to the underside of Dave’s wandering nuts.
So, yes. Dave probably has a thing for you.
Thing is, it should be pretty easy to deal with. See, the DW suspects Dave has always had a little thing for you. In general, but especially at your age (which the DW is estimating as early twenties based on the Basic Training clue) introverted dudes who are besties with women are rarely in that position by choice. What they really want is to be boning you silly. But since that, for whatever reason, isn’t on the menu at the moment, they hang around and hang around and hope that something will change.
[A DW aside: Yes, young dudes are that controllable with the mere hint of boob! Please wield your power wisely.]
Now, does this mean that Dave is a liar and a faker? Not exactly. He probably really is the good friend and solid dude he appears to be most of the time. Just sometimes when he’s in a club and people are drunk and grinding all around or it’s 4AM and everything is dark and weird and dreamlike, the wishful part of his brain tells him it’s okay to hang on to you a little too tight.
So what do you say? It may well be all you have to do is give a quick, “Too much hands lately, Dave. You’re like a brother to me, but it gets a weird for everybody if brothers and sisters start spooning, if you know what I mean.”
But you shouldn’t sweat every syllable. The details aren’t going to have much to do with Dave’s reaction. He’s either the kind of dude that’s going to take a reminder of boundaries well or he isn’t. If the DW had to guess, he’d say introverted Dave already feels a little guilty, knows he shouldn’t have been so touchy touchy, and the whole thing will go away pretty quickly.
Unfortunately, it’s still possible your friendship will come to an end sooner or later, not so much because of the way you confront him, but because there’s something about verbalizing that he has No Shot In Hell with you that will finally bring his crush to an end.
Now, the DW knows Dave’s never had a shot and that you’ve never acted in any way that would lead him on, but still- when a young, introverted dude has a dream, his boner will hang onto that dream until every last unfounded shred of it has been dashed. True, you’ve shown so little interest in him romantically that you got yourself engaged to another dude. But in his boner’s mind, there was probably still a one one-millionth of a chance that if he put his hand on your hip one night and spooned you that you would roll over, smooch him madly, and the two of you would make sweet magical slightly deviant love and run off to Mexico together that very night. When you give him the actual, in so many words, “No,” instead, the balloon may finally be popped once and for all.
Here’s to your fiance staying safe and sound through basic training and beyond.