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[QUOTE=Lance0204]man, stacy, sounds like the perfect guy for you, ;) lucky guy :D anyway, do you really want a bf after all what you've said before about the single life and how much you love it? well i think there's no way on earth that he doesn't like you so you shouldn't worry about that. i think eventually you're going to have to talk about this stuff with him. its one of those really uncomfortable conversations in a situation like this but i think its necessary.[/QUOTE]

Thanks! Lance, it's really good to see you around, Goody too--I spotted her around again today! :) This all makes sense. I know I'm not always good at explaining things, but I feel good about this. You bring up an excellent point--the issue really doesn't boil down to what he wants, but what I am capable of, and I'm not sure I'm capable of being in a super serious exclusive relationship at this time. So I probably shouldn't push things or try to force things to be more serious than they'd be if they evolved naturally, right? Since I don't really even know what I want? Actually, that's kind of why I'm happy about this, because even if nothing ever happens beyond what has already happened, I know I can always trust him to be one of my very best friends. I also know that I can totally be myself around him, that I can say what I think, and that he will always be my friend, because he always has in the past. That to me is a lot more important than anything romantic or sexual that goes on between us.

But maybe we're really just friends from his point of view, I truly don't know. That wouldn't be bad though if it was the case I tend to have quite intimate relationships with my close friends, and most of them are men, because I seem to find more men who are like me than women. Relating to many different men on a very close level makes me weird, I know, and it can also cause me to confuse friendship with love at times. Because loving someone as a friend for me is so close to a relationship...I see an ideal relationship as a best friend with whom you share great sex and chemistry as well as friendship, interests, your sense of humor, etc.

I guess what I'm wondering about isn't so much if he loves me and wants to be with me, but what I should do to avoid screwing up our friendship at all costs. That is not something I could forgive myself for. That said, since it's never been a normal friendship, I don't know how I could screw it up UNLESS we get all serious/official and I change my mind about not dating other men. See the part I left out is that the reason we were not boyfriend/girlfriend in high school is because I almost always had another boyfriend. I guess he has always been kind of like my secret boyfriend, or maybe my mistress? So he knows that men are a big vice for me and that there is always someone around...for him to think differently, I would have to tell him differently, and maybe I will, but right now I am so happy that I don't want things to change. I just always worry so much and get so far ahead of myself that I end up creating problems/drama/complications when in fact this might be a really simple situation if I stop overthinking it.

I have never been able to tell if men are in love with me in a romantic way or if they just love me as a friend. I don't know what the difference is there if anything, maybe the only difference is whether or not we're involved as more than friends. But I can tell a difference between two important groups of men: those who just want to hook up and those who care about me. I just can't always differentiate the guys who care into two groups based on exactly how and why they care about me. But after some recent experiences, I think I am getting better at telling which guys are only out for sex. Such men would NOT be happy about bleeding on their sheets (LOL! I loved those stories, boys can be so sweet :)), they are not there when you are sick, they don't care about your life or your feelings other than how it directly affects them, they don't hug and kiss you goodbye when one of you leaves, they don't want to hang out unless a bed is involved, they don't want to sleep over and hang out the next day, they don't want you around their friends and family, they do not always follow through on plans like calling back and hanging out, and you do not feel like you can completely trust and rely on them no matter what.

I'm not so much into that, though I've definitely been there before with men who couldn't care less about me. That is a bad feeling. I'd like to think I can tell the difference, but how can I be sure I won't be duped by a really clever guy who knows just how to reel me in and get what he wants. I doubt that this particular guy would do that, but he doesn't owe me anything and I certainly can't expect more from him than I can or will give in return. So I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. I just can't help liking him more than I expected to...ever since I saw him again, I am just so fond of him that no other guy really seems to compare. I don't want to get hurt here, but the idea of hurting him scares me more, because I know I am tough enough to handle it, but he has never been anything but sweet, gentle, and understanding towards me, and I think he is in some ways more emotionally vulnerable, because he has always been the one who in the past pushed us toward more than a platonic friendship. No matter what happens, my main priority is making sure I don't hurt him or let him down. I really need to avoid that at all costs, but I am not sure how to guarantee it. See the thing is, I know that at this point I have much better odds of keeping a lifelong friend close by in my life than I do of keeping a boyfriend around forever.

So do you think I should just think of all this as just a more intense stage of friendship? That would take a lot of pressure off to think of him just like my best friend without having to worry about what other people would say about our official status. And to be honest, he makes a good best friend, because he is the only person I know other than my grandmother around whom I feel like I can be completely honest with without worrying about someone thinking differently of me or judging me. If I have a random problem or am worried or have a stupid question, I can ask him without being nervous, I can call him for whatever reason without feeling anxious about it, which is rare for me. He is also the only friend I have who I let in my house when I am not there, because I trust him not to snoop and find anything incriminating, and one of the few who ever sees the inside of my bedroom/lair. Also, his family, like him, has always gone out of their way to be kind and good friends with me, even though they have nothing to gain by being so nice to me because I have never been his girlfriend. Their whole family has stood up for me, took on controversy to be on my side, defended me, and been incredibly supportive throughout the years during times when few of my other "friends" were there for me. That kind of unselfish and generous loyalty means more than anything to me and seems to be extremely rare. Even the vast majority of my own blood relatives have not treated me as well over the years.

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