It's common for a woman to have at least a dozen stories about male friends she has lost due to not wanting a romantic relationship with them. Usually, though, these friendships were at least somewhat young. Nothing but ruined potential. Rarely do they involve a friendship spanning longer than a few months. It is really disappointing to think you're making a new friend only to find out they had an ulterior motive. Why can't people (usually dudes) just accept a relationship as platonic?
Back in the early 2000's, I basically confessed all my feels to this boy
who was kind of awkward and long distance but easily my best friend at the time. We had all the same interests and hobbies and got along well. After years of friendship we'd never had a single argument. Every now and then our interactions were even a little flirty. It seemed logical that we would make a great couple.
So imagine my surprise when he not only didn't reciprocate my feelings at all but actually sorta... rebuked them. I was super bummed but remained his friend, talking daily and hanging out. I got over it pretty quickly, because our friendship was ultimately more important to me than anything else, and everything went back to the way it had always been.
several years later he confessed to having a huge crush on me. Um, what?
Unfortunately by then I had shut out all those feelings for so long that
it was SUPER weird because our relationship, for me, had become so
sibling-like. I had been lead to believe that it would
never be anything but platonic. It was like being asked out by my brother. So I had to tell him that while I loved
him a lot, I didn't love him that way and very likely never could. Of course, even though it went without saying, I made sure he knew that I would love to maintain the relationship we'd always had.
Even though I was far more gentle with his feelings than he had been with mine originally, he
wasn't as gracious about it as I was. We stayed friends for about a
year, though he talked to me way less frequently. Then out of the blue he
vanished. Moved, changed all his screen names and email, etc. Not a word
to me about it beforehand and no contact afterward. It's honestly the single strangest, disappointing interaction with another human being I've ever had. And coming from my background, that's saying a lot.
Like just... wow.