Question: Dear Luise: I met a wonderful man about two years ago, and we have a pleasant, platonic friendship. Over the last year both of us have had our own personal issues to resolve and, fortunately, talking and listening has helped me put my life in perspective – and I do believe that it is reciprocal.
I know that I want to pursue this relationship further, and sense that from him as well, but don’t want to push the boundaries. Because of his life’s circumstances, I certainly don’t want to overwhelm him, feel that he still needs to keep some distance, and want to be there for him while I am also working through my problems without being an albatross. I’m at a crossroads…how do I do this without being too pushy, but letting him know that I’m there for him? Right now, I feel I’m doing about 75% of the work in this friendship, and he has recognized that himself. Many thanks! Pivoine
Answer: Dear Pivoine: What a pretty name! You don’t want to be an albatross to a partner who contributes 25% to your 75%? What am I missing here? You are there for him! Your description of your relationship sounds like you are tiptoeing around on eggshells with this man. On the positive side, it also sounds like you are co-creating something that is mutually supportive. You have both been around the block and have hurts to heal, if I read you correctly.
If you are asking for a Relationship Coach, here, I think I’d suggest you exercise extreme caution. This man is a lot of work at present, even in a platonic arrangement. What are your motives for wanting to go much deeper until he gives you some indication that he is willing to put his shoulder to the wheel? Most of us, in some context or another, are among the walking-wounded. Is that what you have in common? I have no way of knowing the answer to that…I’m just asking you to ask yourself. Does “platonic” mean you might be a “Mom-type“ to him to some degree? Is that why two years have brought you to this 25/75 split? He sounds like great “friend material” but/and I see red flags all over the place concerning promoting him beyond that. I’d suggest you just enjoy the mutual warmth and caring the two of you have developed, and leave it at that. You could even allow yourself to feel a sense of relief. Blessings, Luise