You’ve realized you’re falling in love with your best friend. And understandably, you’re panicked?
Love is a wonderful feeling. But when it comes to your romantic love and your BFF, it’s scary because it could possibly destroy one of the most important things in the world to you.
If you have recently discovered such feelings, try to take a deep breath. And think carefully before you proceed. Here are a few things to consider before you broach the subject with your best friend:
1. He may feel the same way.
The best possible outcome here is that your best friend feels the same way about you, and you can start your passionate happily-ever-after right away. If this is the case, congratulations and good for you!
Keep in mind, though, that if you’re just infatuated with your friend or looking for a little fun, it isn’t fair to share a bunch of feelings that will only lead to him being hurt. Make sure you’re really in love before doing anything about it.
2. He may not feel the same way.
Unfortunately, being in love with your best friend does not guarantee that he will feel the same way. There’s a good chance that you guys are friends because friendly is all he feels toward you.
While this might sting, it’s important to contemplate this from the outset. How do you feel about this possibility? Can you still be friends if he doesn’t want anything more? Will you be OK not telling him how you feel if you know he isn’t interested?
Sometimes even knowing someone doesn’t return your feelings isn’t enough to quell them. You may need to take some space from the relationship for a while to sort things out … which might require telling him how you feel.
After, with proper boundaries, it’s possible you can go back to the way things were. But …
3. Your relationship may never be the same.
Whether or not he returns your feelings, there is of course a chance your relationship will never go back to the way it was before. Especially if you tell him you love him, hoping he’ll return the feelings, only to find out you were wrong.
If he’s a cool guy, he’ll help you both move past it with a good attitude and his inherently sweet personality, which is probably what made him such a good friend in the first place.
But there’s always the possibility that telling him how you feel will result in a friendship that’s changed for life.
4. Consider your current circumstances.
One of the most common problems with realizing you’re in love with your best friend is timing. You’re both adults, so there’s a good chance at least one of you is in a relationship, possibly both. On your end, it’s less of a big deal, because you can break things off if you want to. On his end, you’ve got less control.
Before launching into a messy display of feelings, wait until your friend ends things naturally with his current lady. If he’s taking the relationship lightly, you might consider stepping in sooner, but be careful.
Even if your friend is planning to break it off, it might still be the wrong time in his life for a long-term. You can always ask what he’s looking for in the guise of talking to him about his current flame, as any good friend would.
5. Consider asking a mutual friend for a favor.
If you’re having a hard time getting a read on your guy, ask a mutual friend to do some recon. This is a good way to find out about his feelings without showing your hand, assuming you can trust this particular friend and it feels comfortable.
6. Think about addressing the topic in a roundabout way.
If your best friend is single and you think you might have a shot with him, it’s time to test the waters. Bring up the topic of romance at a time when you’re both feeling relaxed.
Note that while alcohol can help you steel your nerves, it isn’t the best idea if you want your wits about you. You want control of when you reveal the fact that you’re in love with your best friend, and with booze it may make that come out sooner than you’d like.
Instead, shoot for a relaxed environment like a coffee shop or arcade. When you’re both having fun and can turn your attention to something else (games, lattes, people watching), the pressure will be lower.
That in turn means you have a better chance of coming off naturally, rather than giving yourself away. The same logic applies when you are trying to build sexual tension with him.
When the timing is right, casually bring up relationships and see what your friend has to say.
Does he seem to want one? Can he imagine falling in love with someone he’s already close to? Would he ever … date a friend?
If you get the right answers, chances are your friend already knows where this is going and would like the same thing you would. If he seems uncomfortable, noncommittal or disinterested, though, it’s probably time to move on to greener pastures.
Only you can decide what’s the best path to take.