EDITOR’S NOTE
:  Each He Said-She Said column features a reader's question with responses from a male and female point of view.  If you’ve got a question about anything related to living the single life, please submit here (selected questions will be posted anonymously).


QUESTION:  Not too long ago, my best friend and I agreed to date.  At that point, I realized that my emotions were well invested in this relationship—no matter what kind it was (friendship or dating relationship).  But our dating relationship lasted only four days.  He called me and told me he realized his motives hadn't been what they should be; he thought he would lose me as a friend if we didn't date.  And so now we're not dating, and I'm confused.  What do I do?  I have seen what a dating relationship with him could be like and have found that I have deeper feelings for him.  I'm also angry because he didn't give prior thought before asking me to date him.  Should I just walk away from the friendship?

HE SAID:  Growing up with no sisters, I have enjoyed having female friends.  There are some (maybe a lot of) things that guys don’t know about women or ever will without the (loving) instruction from a female.  (I just heard a resounding “Amen.”)  I won’t try to speculate on your friend’s background or intention, but will try to share some thoughts based upon your question and my experience.

Several times in the past I considered trying to move a close friendship with a girl into a dating relationship.  I understood this could possibly “jeopardize” the friendship and weighed the options heavily.  It was a difficult decision each time and did result in a lost friendship a couple of times.  These experiences led me to think about the differences between a friendship and dating relationship:

In a friendship, there are no specific expectations; in a relationship, there are many expectations (and assumptions).

In a friendship, “going out” doesn’t need any advance notice; in a relationship, there should be “advance” notice (at least at the outset).

In a friendship, paying your own way is norm; in a relationship, a guy should (usually) pay.

In a friendship, there are no specific commitments; in a relationship, there should be a commitment.

Were any of these factors discussed prior to or during those four days of dating?

His motives hadn’t been what they should be …
If your friend only wanted to “date” you in order to keep the friendship, maybe he isn’t your best friend.  By this, he seems to be only concerned about his own needs (maintaining the friendship and companionship) and not yours (relationship).  Close friends are concerned about the other’s well-being. 

He thought he would lose me as a friend if we didn’t date …
Did you ever make mention or hint to him that he would lose you if you didn’t date?  If this was never discussed and he formulated this in his own mind, he isn’t ready for a relationship.

I have seen what a dating relationship with him could be like …
What have you seen?  Based on what you have mentioned, he appears to have some fears that need to be addressed and isn’t sure as to what he wants.  Are you selling yourself short of what you want and deserve or what is God’s best for you?

I have deeper feelings for him …
What kind of feelings?  What are those deeper feelings based upon?  It sounds as if you both enjoyed each other’s friendship and companionship prior to establishing it as a “dating” relationship.  Since you called him your “best friend,” I am assuming that you have spent a great deal of time with him in person and on the phone and as a result, you may have grown close to each other in ways that resemble a dating relationship.  However, a relationship should be based upon honesty, trust, values, and communication.