Ask Amy: Single man can’t find the bridge between ‘just friends’ and romance – OregonLive

Ask Amy: Single man can’t find the bridge between ‘just friends’ and romance – OregonLive

Dear Amy: I am a 27-year-old straight man. My closest male friends are all married or engaged. I can count on one hand the number of friends and same-age relatives I have who are not in committed, long-term romantic relationships.

I can’t shake the feeling I will never find a long-term partner. I’ve always heard, and believe, that the best relationships grow out of friendships.

I’ve had a good deal of relationships before, some explicitly casual and a few that burned like fireworks, but I’ve never had the experience of “being friends first.” I have no idea how that would work.

I feel like I’ve passed the stage of life where relationships can grow organically out of friendships. It’s unusual for me to meet a peer who is single, let alone a single peer with whom I potentially share a deep compatibility.

Even if I did, I’m afraid of misreading it or messing it up. Last February, I asked a friend out on a date while trying to make clear that I hoped we remained friends, either way. She politely declined but has avoided me ever since, and I feel guilty for having put her in an awkward situation.

So, during the pandemic, I’m taking some “time off” to work on myself. This raises the question, what am I working toward?

Since most romantic media, fictional or instructive, is geared toward women, I
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