I’m in love with my best friend

Ouch! There’s no textbook way to cope with this, says our elder. 

But here are 10 suggestions for navigating the situation.


Dear EWC

I love my best female friend, I love her so much and this love causing me pain… am lost, totally lost. I don’t know what to do. Please help me.


Sage replies

You are not alone. Males falling in love with their best female friends and females falling in love with their best male friends happens quite frequently. Unfortunately, it can hurt a lot more than standard unrequited love, as you and this person have a lengthy and supportive history with each other. This puts both your friendship and your love aspirations on the line, and it can be quite painful for both parties.

There is no textbook way to cope with this situation. It depends on the individuals and the circumstances of the situation.

You are in so much pain because you are not taking any action. So, you constantly hurt. If you take some action, you may experience some pain for a while if she doesn’t feel the same, but it will eventually go away.

Here are some possible ways you can get through the pain and heartbreak:

  1. Stay away from your best friend for a while. Be civil and thoughtful in how you go about this. You don’t want to completely reject the healthy relationship that you’ve established between each other, but you need to take care of your feelings. Don’t make active efforts to see them on a daily basis.

There are countless ways to set up safe and respectful boundaries between you and this person. If you do see this person, be open without giving them all of your attention. Protect yourself without isolating them.

  1. Evaluate your feelings. Intentionally, and objectively, analyze those feelings and personalized content about the platonic friendship to clarify within yourself what you are experiencing. Is what you are feeling truly romantic love? It is common for platonic friends to fall in love and become romantic partners, but if you think you are romantically attracted to your friend, it is important to sift through your feelings of friendship and potential true love. Be honest with yourself.
  2. Make a decision. Once you’ve given yourself time to analyze your feelings and personalized content and are confident that the feelings you have are romantic, the next decision is whether to tell your best friend how you feel. Of course, this will not happen in one night. This can be its own hell as you consider all the possible outcomes of this scenario. It can be helpful to remember that they are your best friend who cares about you, and that friendships can withstand more than you’re scared of.

It’s important to understand that there’s no guarantee how your best girlfriend feels, regardless of whether their behavior may indicate a potential romantic connection. At the end of the day, it comes down to your own best judgment of the potential outcomes of deciding to divulge or withhold your feelings and personalized content. And there is always the possibility that you are reading the situation wrong. Consider all the outcomes that are possible if you tell them.

  1. Act on your decision. Now that you’ve thought through all of the options, it’s time to act. If you have chosen to keep your feelings and personalized content to yourself, do so confidently, accepting that you are the one who owns this decision; and you have made it after reasonable consideration. Take intentional steps to help yourself minimize your feelings for your best friend.
  2. If you express your feelings to your friend and learn that they feel the same, you may both decide that you would like to pursue a romantic relationship.

Relationships that start with a friendship may benefit from having a solid emotional connection already in place before the shift to romance, which may contrast to those relationships that start with an initial physical attraction. In addition, you may be aware of their flaws and insecurities, and vice versa, because you know them well already.

In this situation, it may be tempting to jump quickly into the relationship or fast-forward through the early stages, since you already know each other well. However, it may be useful to recognize that the shift to romance may still be uncharted territory, so it might make sense to take the time you need and move at a comfortable pace for you both.

  1. If your friend does not have the same romantic feelings, it may be disappointing or upsetting, and your friend may feel slightly uncomfortable after you express your feelings. It is possible that your confession could make the friendship awkward or complicate things for a bit, but this doesn’t mean you can’t remain friends.

If you decide not to confess to her or if she rejects your romantic advance, here are some tips and strategies to consider:

  1. Accept the pain. There is nothing worse, after going through a trying emotional circumstance, that you aren’t allowed to feel the emotions you are having.

If you judge your emotions or tell yourself that you aren’t allowed to feel them, then you’re hiding from the realness of your pain. Even though it’s immensely difficult to cope with heartbreak, you will become stronger in the process. You will also spend less time wallowing if you accept your emotions and try to focus on the present.

  1. Not being able to confess your love for your friend will help you grow, and even though it feels like an insurmountable pain, you’ll be stronger as a result.

Try to see this as an opportunity to improve upon yourself or take time to work on your own goals. Use these bad feelings to fuel your forward momentum. If you fall back into a self-deprecating spiral, you will not be able to move beyond your pain.

  1. Do not try to forget them completely. While it may seem counterproductive, you actually don’t want to block this person out of your brain entirely. When you attempt to push all thoughts of this person away from you, you’ll no doubt return to thinking of them when you don’t want to. This actually makes it much tougher to get over them.

When your love object enters your mind, you must acknowledge their existence, despite the pain. You do not need to panic, and you certainly don’t need to take it as a sign that you’ll never get over them.

  1. Practice self-love. You’ve put it all on the line, and you will probably feel like you’ve failed in some way. Becoming confident in yourself again is crucial in overcoming the hardship.

You need to learn how to reconnect with your emotions in the present, rather than thinking about the mistakes of your past. Meditation helps in centering your brain toward the now.

Managing romantic feelings for your best friend can be challenging. If you tell them how you feel and they feel the same way, you may be able to enter a happy and healthy romantic relationship together. However, if you do not tell them and keep it bottled up, or if they don’t reciprocate your feelings, you may want to take time to work through your emotions and find guidance as to how to maintain your friendship if you choose to do so.

Article #: 492918
Category: Dating/Relationship

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