How To Go Back To Being ‘Just Friends’ When You Still Miss Them

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s human nature to consider dating your friends. You enjoy their company. You admire their personality, their quirks and charms. All it takes is finding them a bit attractive to wonder if you guys could be something more.

When you hang out with your group of friends, you notice how kind they are to everyone. The amount of energy they bring to the room; how much fun it is to be around them and how they make you laugh.

So one day you work up the nerve and decide to give it a try. You ask them to hang out alone. You get a chance to know them on a deeper level, as an individual rather than just another part of the crew.

The first date goes great, but of course it does, it’s how you normally hang out, just with no one else there. You’re both unsure of the other’s feelings. Do they even realize it was a date? Maybe they just thought you were grabbing a casual brunch.

The second date comes and it’s more obvious what’s going on; you explore if there’s a connection. They unexpectedly kiss you in the elevator—a moment alone seized in the perfect way. More dates follow.

Maybe it’s three dates. Maybe it’s a month. But eventually, you realize that for whatever reason, it’s not going to work. You’re just not connecting on that next level.

Now what?

Unless they’re a complete ass hat or have little emotional control, they’re not going to kick you to the curb, forgetting the friendship you had before you gave the relationship a go. So you go back to being ” just friends.”

But you saw a different side to them. You hung out with the part of them that’s more vulnerable. The part that’s romantic. The part that shows you more attention. The part that was interested in getting to know the deeper side of you. That part where their lips touched yours. Their hands felt your body. There was an initial spark; just because you realized it wasn’t meant to be doesn’t mean the flame is completely extinguished.

Eventually, you hang out together in your group of friends like nothing ever happened, but you see that side of them you initially admired so much again.

That side that was hidden away while you dated. Maybe they hid that side out of the awkward feelings that come with the first few dates. Maybe they were nervous. Maybe you made them nervous.

Either way, you see their goofy side again. Their uninhibited side. The part that made you want to try to be more than friends in the first place. They acted differently when it was just you two; it’s too bad they couldn’t be this charismatic person when you were alone.

But you gave it a try. You made the decision not to take it further. To end things before the friendship was no longer salvageable.

Feeling this way, though, how can you be just friends? When all you want to do is reach out and hold their hand? When you have to hold yourself back from cuddling up with them on the couch? When you have to actively stop yourself from thinking about taking them into the other room and kissing them again?

Maybe this is one of those “you’ve made your bed now you lie in it” scenarios. You made a decision. They’re even dating someone new. There’s no going back.

And what if you did and things didn’t work out again? Then you’d hurt them again. You can’t do that to them. They’re such a good person. They don’t deserve that.

So you sit there and bite your tongue. Act casually friendly like you always have with each other. Trying to act like the desires you’re suppressing don’t exist, because you’re just friends now.

After all, you chose this. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Dating + Relationship Writer & Coach

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