I met Sonia a few years ago and we became friends. Over the years, she’s had a boyfriend, and I’ve had a girlfriend, but we’ve always kept in touch.
There is something about Sonia that is different than other women I’ve dated. She’s easy to talk to, doesn’t expect anything from me, accepts me for who I am and is fun to be with.
I find myself calling her every day to make plans, and often the day ends up with her staying over at my place.
So does this mean we’re really good friends with benefits, or have I fallen in love with her? How do I know? Is there a real way to tell? I’ve never been in love before – I do know that much – but neither of us has ever said the “L” word to each other. Perhaps this is just a really good friendship. It’s a little embarrassing to discuss this with anyone, but since it’s anonymous, I will watch your column for an answer.
Friendship or Love
Dear Friendship or Love,
Some would say if you have to ask, then you’re probably not there yet. I don’t agree. Some people who experience unfamiliar emotions become analytical. Everyone is different, and perhaps love is also different for different individuals.
There may be people who use the “L” word, as you put it, easily and without much thought, while others like you will never say it without being 100 per cent positive the sentiment is authentic. In the end, the word love is nothing more than a label of emotion, so let’s review what you are feeling.
We’ll begin with a few questions.
• Is Sonia easy to be around?
• Do you find yourself thinking about her when she’s not there?
• When something happens or you have an idea, do you feel like you can’t wait to share it with her?
• Do you find yourself smiling more when you’re together?
• Do you worry about her?
• Do you put her needs above your own?
• Do you find that even little things remind you of her, like a certain food or a song?
• Do you get a warm and fuzzy feeling when you’re together?
• Have you ever discussed the future as a couple?
• Do you yearn to be with her, to hold and touch her?
• Does she make you feel good about yourself?
• Do you find yourself looking for ways to make her happy?
You and Sonia have a solid connection. Taking a relationship to the next level is an unfamiliar transition. You may worry that it will ruin what you already have, but something worth having, is worth taking a risk for. The foundation you’ve both built is rooted and strong and can carry the two of you to the next level, if you just allow it to happen.
Unzip that coat of armour and step out of it. Follow with your emotions instead of analyzing everything to death. It’s easy if you allow it to be. When you don’t have to try so hard and it just comes naturally, you’ll know you have broken through that wall to let someone else in to embrace the man you are. Love is powerful and primal. Don’t fight it, just let it happen and enjoy.
Readers may submit their questions to Ella at The CJN, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. But Ella is not a professional counsellor. She brings to the questions posed by readers her unique brand of earthy wisdom. Her advice is not a replacement for medical, legal or any other advice. For serious problems, consult a professional.