“Let’s Be Friends”

Q: My girlfriend just gave me the “you’re a really nice guy” speech and ended it with my favorite, “Let’s be friends.” I still really like her and all we do is fight when we try to be friends. Should I just forget about trying to have any type of relationship with her?

A: What a difficult situation for you! You said above that you still really like her, what does that mean? Are you entering into this friendship for the right reasons? Sounds like the motive for being her friend is really to continue a romantic relationship that she has already told you is over. Remember, in order to have a healthy relationship with someone the expectations need to be clearly defined. In other words, both people need to be on the same page.

The expectations for a romantic relationship are much different than the expectations in a friendship. When you are still trying to get over the hurt and the pain that emerges from a breakup it is hard to immediately make a transition to a new set of expectations. In a perfect world it would be nice to just be able to have a friendship with someone you care about, however, the negative feelings that are experienced after a romantic relationship ends need to be dealt with first.

Once you are able to heal from the pain of this lost relationship, the fights between you and this girl will end and you will be able to have a genuine friendship. My advice to you is to be honest about your feelings and let this girl know that you need some time before you can be a good friend.

If you choose to continue the friendship now, I am afraid you are going to damage the opportunity to have a successful friendship. My guess is you are a “really nice guy” and have a lot to offer a new romantic relationship and a future friendship with this girl.