Ask Dr. Gilda-Should I Seduce My Pal?

A woman’s best guy friend doesn’t want to cross the romance line, but she’s not ready to give up!

By Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D.

ear Dr. Gilda,
I am a 40-ish divorced mom, and my problem is my best friend. We’ve worked together for six years now, and have been friends for three. He’s the real 40-year-old virgin, never had a girlfriend, and no, he isn’t gay. I told him I’m attracted to him and
Stop investing energy in changing this guy, and begin to change yourself.
would like to see if there could be more than friendship for us, but his response was that he wouldn’t make a good boyfriend. Everyone who knows him thinks he’s just afraid to make any changes to the rut he lives in. We are great friends; we go out to meals and movies, to social events, or just hang out watching TV or DVDs. But I want more. Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t stopped looking for other dating options. It’s just that I’m tired of not getting what I really want, and I don’t give up easily. Is there anything I can do to change this relationship?
– Best Friend

Dear Best Friend,
Why would you want a guy who doesn’t want you? Why would you want a boyfriend who lives in a “rut”? Why would you want someone with obvious social phobias? Is your aim to become another Florence Nightingale, lady pioneer in nursing, as you rescue this man from himself? Wake up! You’re not his nurse or his therapist. Maybe it’s just, as you say, “I’m tired of not getting what I really want, and I don’t give up easily.” It is an abusive game to try to push your so-called “best friend” beyond his chosen boundaries just because you “really want” what you want, regardless of his wants.

And I have to ask you this: If you were to get what you think you want, would you still want it after you get it? Your friend has told you how he feels about having a sexual relationship with you. What part of “I’m not interested” don’t you get?! Imagine the pressure you’d feel if someone were pushing you for sex, and you needed to constantly refuse his advances.

You say, “I haven’t stopped looking for other dating options.” Yet you spend a lot of valuable time with your best friend. Accept the fact that this guy is off-limits, and rearrange your schedule to open up entirely different options.

This is what I suggest:
  1. Stop investing energy in changing this guy, and begin to change yourself. You need to develop sensitivity for others, active listening skills, and respect for people’s needs. Volunteer your time at a hospital where you will meet people with serious needs to be met at once. That will lessen your ego drive.
  2. Curtail the time you spend with Best Friend, and take courses where you will meet guys in activities you enjoy.
  3. Understand this Gilda-Gram: “Manipulation in love can only derail it.” If someone is not into you, find someone who is.
Based on your behavior, my guess is that you’ve been hurt a lot in the past. Accept that an innocent and uninterested friend won’t compensate for your past. Only you can heal your pain. If you need help, consult a therapist.

Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., has a private practice and is an associate professor at Mercy College in New York. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince!, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Please visit her website ( and send her your relationship questions.
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