Readers struggle being ‘more than friends’

Dear Readers: I’ve briefly stepped away from my column to work on a new writing project. This week, I’m rerunning topical Q&A from 10 years ago. I’m calling today’s topic, “More than friends.” I’ll be back next week with fresh columns.

Dear Amy: I am a 35-year-old divorced mother of two. During the past five years, “Chris” and I have become good friends. I’ve known that he has romantic feelings for me, but I don’t share these feelings.

I have never given Chris any indication that I want anything other than friendship. However, after dinner the other night, he tried to kiss me. I pushed him away. He is hurt and confused.

Chris is everything I want in a man, but he is morbidly obese. I don’t want to hurt his feelings and tell him that I’m not attracted to him.

— Just Friendship

Dear Friendship: Your friend owes you an apology.

While out-of-nowhere kisses seem sort of charming in the movies, in real life this is an aggressive act.

You don’t need to acknowledge the “elephant in the room.” Chris will assume that his weight is the deal-breaker no matter what you say. Just tell him, “I know you feel romantic toward me, but I don’t toward you. I don’t see that changing, and I’m sorry we didn’t talk about this sooner. I’d like to continue to spend time with you as friends, but I understand if you don’t want to.”