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Worked at creating a friendship, then she realized she had feelings that were one-sided

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Question - (27 April 2013) 1 Answers - (Newest, 27 April 2013)
A male United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I've had this female friend for a while. We were very distant at first; she'd talk to me but I wouldn't let things progress very far because I figured she was just making small talk.

Eventually she revealed that she had been interested in getting to know me for a while now, and so we started talking more often. We'd talk about funny stuff, cool stuff, deep stuff. Over time, I gradually started appreciating her more and more as a person and I told her so.

She hasn't had an easy time bonding with people. Even though she had always been the initiator with me, she was always quite skittish and distrustful. I tried to make things as easy as possible for her, I reassured her every time she had doubts, etc. The last time we talked, we seemed to have left all doubts behind.

Today I received an email from her telling me she had feelings for me. To me, that came completely out of the blue. I never saw her in that way. I never even saw myself as worthy of love either. However, I still care about her. She knows the feelings aren't mutual, and because of that, she's putting an end to our friendship.

What should I do? Is there anything I can say that would make things better for her?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2013):

This is a very difficult situation for both of you. She has romantic feelings for you and you just want to be friends.

To continue as friends will be painful for her as she will have hope every time she sees you and, if you started dating someone else, it would be heartbreaking for her.

So, for the time being, do what she asks, and put the friendship on hold. Hard though it may be, this is the kindest thing you can do for her. Tell her how much you value her friendship but that you respect her wishes.

it may be that, after a time, she will meet someone else, or will decide that she is happy with just a friendship with you.

I wish you both the very best of luck.

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