about a month and a half ago i reconnected with a friend that i hadn’t spoken to in about two years. we didn’t leave on the best terms, but i’d always regretted losing his friendship. what tore us apart? he was head over heels for me and i didn’t feel the same. i still wanted his friendship, but he couldn’t take that, so he left. and now he’s back. and admitting that his feelings haven’t changed, but claiming that he’ll take me however he can get me. on paper he might seem almost perfect, so i’m not entirely sure why i’ve never felt anything more than the need for friendship with him. quick side note on my romantic past: not to talk up my own likeability or whatever, in fact, i wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but i have been in this position (the one i unlovingly call being the heartbreaker) more times than i can count, and the thought of going through it again with someone again (if that makes sense—it’s happened before where someone “gets over” me, but the feelings come back or maybe never left) is not the least bit attractive to me. people always feel bad for the “like-er” in this situation because they are turned down, but everyone seems to forget that the “like-ee” plays a pretty big role in this too. it takes a lot, unfortunately, for people to be honest about how they feel, and, though i haven’t always handled these situations in the most mature way (like back in junior high when i told someone i had a boyfriend when i didn’t so i didn’t have to actually turn him down), when i have, the “like-er” isn’t the only one left heartbroken. that’s not to say that i assume everyone who “likes” me (i feel like a third grader talking about liking people) is head over heels in love with me, but i’ve had the rare blessing/curse of getting extremely close to people before they admit feelings so they’ve got time to grow into stronger ones. anyway, this situation i’m currently in is killing me. i’ve wanted more than anything (although i can’t use those words with him) to have his friendship back after all this time, but i’m stuck about whether or not i want to risk (really, this is not even a risk, it seems more like an intentional free-fall without a parachute) either hurting him again, myself again, or both, even just by being his friend. this might seem to be an inconsequential, selfishly stupid problem to be complaining about, but not knowing what to do is seriously eating at me. the biggest problem is that if this were happening two years ago with anyone else, he’d be the one i’d be talking to about it.