Dear Thelma: Tired of being Mr Nice Guy and not getting the girl

Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on?

Thelma is here to help. Email or write to Dear Thelma, c/o StarLifestyle, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11,46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Please include your full name, address and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained.

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Dear Thelma,

I've been a fan of your work for years now, and I've always been intrigued by the stories as well as the solutions and suggestions that you provide.

Anyway, I've got a story that's been bugging me for a while.I've known this girl (let's call her A) for about eight years now. We went to the same university. In my eyes, A is extremely pretty.

When I first met her, she was with this guy, B, who is her best friend.

When I got to know A and B better, turns out that A had just got into a relationship with another guy, C.

Over the years I became really close to A, B and C.

One day, A and C broke up. B and I were there to console her to get her to move on. Ever since then, I became really close to A and started to develop feelings for her. At the same time, I really like C as a friend and we are still very close.

Now, when A sees other guys, I'd get jealous as I'm her go-to friend when she needs advice. Whenever she's sad, she'd look for me. I'd always be her shoulder to cry on, especially when a guy breaks her heart.

One fine day, A and I got into a huge argument, and since then, our relationship has been a bit shaky, though she'll still look for me when she has issues with other guys.

I decided that I wanted to confess my feelings for her as I couldn't stand being just the nice guy and I know that deep down she won't like me back as more than a friend.

However, the day I wanted to confess my feelings, I started by saying that I couldn't be her shoulder to cry on anymore.

She was fine with that, although I expected her to at least show some sad emotion, or even shed a tear, like she would when other guys break her heart but she didn't.

In the end, I just left it at that and didn't end up confessing my feelings.

Now, A and I aren't on talking terms. A part of me is happy that I don't need to listen to her heartbreak stories and problems anymore, but a part of me is sad that we aren't really friends anymore.

What's your take on this and what should I do moving forward?

The listener

Dear Listener,

Look at it from A's perspective. She had a friend she confided in. But, after a big fight, the friend said they didn't want to listen anymore. She may have concluded that the fight changed the relationship to the point of breaking, and that you decided it was not worth repairing.

My point is that you have never been clear about your needs and feelings. You operated as a friend, and she took you as a friend. So, when you said you were no longer interested in friendship, she accepted this, respected your wishes, and left you alone.

Please take this as a lesson and change the way you communicate. Messing about with secret feelings and yearnings is great for stories, but in real life it leads to confusion, hurt feelings and missed opportunities.

From now on, state your feelings and needs clearly. That way you know where you are, no messing about.

Should you be moving forward? You can if you like, but I suspect that you are hurt and withdrawn because you secretly expect her to know your true needs.

If this is correct, I suggest you work on accepting responsibility for the misunderstanding. That means you must accept with your whole heart that you hid your feelings, and you suffered because of it. Once you work through these feelings, ask yourself what you want right now.

From your letter, you don't want to listen to her chat about her love life. That's perfectly okay. But do you still have a crush on her? If she were interested, would you want to date her?

If yes, then contact her. Tell her that you have feelings for her, that you have done for quite some time, and ask if she'll consider dating you.

She might say yes, no, or ask to think about it. But at least you'll know where you stand. And if she isn't interested, then you can move on, knowing you gave it a shot.

Either way, there's one other thing that concerns me. You decided that she would not be interested in you as a romantic prospect. Why?

You were friends, which indicates a good connection. If there are good reasons for your fear, like she told you explicitly that you are not her type, then OK.

However, if there is no basis for your conclusion, then you should ask yourself what were you afraid of. In addition, consider whether there are other areas in your life where you decide on no information that you will be rejected or fail.

Should the answer to those questions be yes, consider what's at the bottom of that. Common reasons for that kind of mindset include low self-esteem and fear of rejection. If that's you, do some reading and work yourself into a happier frame of mind.

Finally, please don't take this episode as a complete disaster. It's a super common situation we all find ourselves in at some point. Take it as a learning experience, start expressing your needs clearly, and reach for happiness.

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Friendships , relationships


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