DEAR KELLY: I met a guy on a cruise over Christmas break and we hit it off. We agreed to continue talking to each other as friends after the cruise and everything was great. He totally got me and I feel like I never opened to anyone like I did to him. His parents were coming through here over the summer on the way to his aunt’s house. His parents agreed they could spend three nights here and one night sleeping at my house if it was OK with my parents. My parents knew him from the cruise and thought he was a nice guy, so they said OK. I was so excited to introduce him to all my friends and had told them all about him. They knew how much I thought I might be falling in love with him and how we connected.
The first night I introduced him to everyone and we went bowling with a bunch of my friends. I noticed he kind of talked a lot to one of my friends. I thought they were flirting, but I didn’t want to overreact. So here is what happened: They met and supposedly “hit it off immediately.” He claims he’s never felt like this toward another girl, and she says it’s the same. The second night we all hung out and I was starting to figure out something was going on between them. By the third night, he asked her out on a one-on-one date. I was shocked to say the least. When I asked him what was up, he said that we were friends all along and he never felt anything more than good friends. He said he thought I knew this. I told him I didn’t. I’m so mad at her and I honestly think I hate him for hurting me so badly. They Instagramed all kinds of pictures of themselves on the last night together and it felt like they were doing it to hurt me.
I don’t know what to do. She’s no longer my friend because girl code says you never take another girl’s boyfriend. She knew how I felt toward him. She said she didn’t know everything, but that’s lame.
They now are a “couple,” even though he lives six hours away. They are talking about going to homecoming together. That means I will have to see him and I know that will be hard on me. What should I do? How do I get over this?
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DEAR WINNIE: Getting over a broken heart is never easy. You had hopes for a relationship, and it didn’t work out. Feeling disappointed and hurt is a tough combination when trying to move on. Sometimes the best approach is to step back and look at the whole picture so you can get a better perspective on what happened and why you feel the way you do.
I’m not sure from your letter if you hooked up on the cruise or just spent the time as friends. If you had “ship fling” and it ended when you got off the boat, then I could understand why you might expect more to happen when he came to visit. If you were friends on the ship and just stayed connected as friends off the ship, then perhaps you read more into the relationship than he did and the romantic feelings weren’t mutual. As painful as it can be, it’s a pretty common thing for two people to view a relationship differently and have different ideas on what they want from each other.
You were hoping for more a romantic relationship and it seems he just wanted to be friends. Don’t hate on him for something you never talked about or discussed. He didn’t do anything wrong if there never was anything in the first place.
Be cautious of walking away on a very good friendship if you feel like he gets you and you can tell him anything. What better kind of friend can you ask for? Be thankful you have the opportunity to continue this friendship and stay connected to someone whom you like talking to so much. If you were able to develop a strong friendship with him that had no romantic ties and both of you were clear on keeping things totally platonic, this could turn out to be a lifelong friendship. To be honest, you have a better chance at keeping him in your life for a longer period of time if you don’t get romantic with him. Ending a romantic relationship often means there are hurt feelings and that is what builds walls between people. Staying good friends is a good way to keep him in your future.
One more thing: Girl code says you don’t take another girl’s man. He was not your man, he was your friend. We don’t own people and you can’t say that they can’t get together just because you like him. Don’t throw girl code at her when you and he were never official. The only thing she should have done differently was to show you a little more respect and not Instagram pictures of them if she knew it would hurt you. That was a cheap shot if she did it to show you they were together.
Life is about getting over disappointing moments. It happens. Having a conversation with both of them separately and sharing your feelings would be the best bet to helping you move on. Tell them that you were hurt and you felt disrespected by them. Let them speak their peace and then let it go. Move on and focus your romantic energy elsewhere. Look at the bigger picture and don’t lose someone who you really enjoy as a friend just because he didn’t share the same kind of feelings you had. He enjoys you enough to come visit you and you enjoy talking to him. Treasure that. Friends like that don’t come along often. Sometimes the best way to stay close to someone you like is to just stay friends.