The INSIDER Summary:
- Falling for a friend romantically can be difficult, but you can get through it.
- Consider if it's worth it to share your feelings with them or if you should just let it lie.
- It may go well or you may risk your friendship, but you have to be prepared for any reaction.
- With care you can navigate this situation as seamlessly as possible.
People love to claim that they're dating or married to their best friend, but many of those people actually became best friends throughout the course of their relationship: they didn't start out that way. But what if you want to turn your current best friend into your partner?
Well, as one of the few people who has done it successfully, I can tell you that it's as HARD and embarrassing and painful as you think it is. But for me, it was worth it in the end no matter what came out of it.
I'm a big advocate of sharing your feelings, or at least acting on them in some way. So if you want to spill the beans to your friend, all it takes is some careful consideration and the ability to ignore the tiny voice in your head telling you to be terrified. Here are some steps to get you started.
Understand what's at stake and figure out if voicing your feelings is worth it.
If you want to try and make it work with this person romantically, you need to figure out what's at stake.
Even in the best-case scenario, you lose this person as simply your best friend: they will become your partner, which can be much more complicated than a platonic friendship.
In a worst-case scenario, it could make your friendship very awkward and potentially alter it forever.
"You might find the love of your life, but, chances are your friend doesn't feel the same way," Jonathan Bennett, a counselor and author of the site The Popular Man, told INSIDER. "Then, the friendship becomes very awkward. Even if there are feelings, if the romantic relationship eventually falls apart or doesn't work, it's hard to go back to a meaningful friendship."
Try to gauge if your friend feels the same way.
While the only way to find out how someone feels for sure is to ask them straight up, there are some ways you can see if there is a hope that they share your feelings.
My now-boyfriend and I decided to be very mature in this stage and talk our mutual friend's ear off about each other until she couldn't take it anymore.
The smarter route would be to ask a trusted friend in a simple way if they ever have thought of you and this other friend in a romantic context. Listen to what they have to say and leave it at that. Confide in them, but don't get them too involved.
If you don't feel comfortable with talking to someone you both know, you can talk it through with a friend who is more removed, a family member or even a therapist. They can help you get some clarity on the situation.
From there, you can drop little hints to your friend and see how they take it. If your compliments fall flat or your flirtations seem forced, it may be time to pack it in. But if you feel a spark, you can think about having a talk with your friend.
"Drop hints and look for signs the feelings are shared," Bennett said. "If you get the sense your friend shares your feelings, then start being more flirty and move the relationship in a more romantic direction. If your friend follows your lead, then you can start to discuss where you see your relationship going."
Be prepared for any reaction — and be ready to accept your friend's decision.
If you decide to express your romantic feelings, you have to be prepared for every reaction. Your friend could reject or reciprocate your feelings — or it could be somewhere in between.
You should have this conversation in person when you're both in sound mind.
Make sure you walk in to the conversation as prepared as possible because it's your job to stay calm and be as understanding as you can. In most cases, you'll have had much more time to mull your feelings than your friend will have, and you need to cut them some slack for any shock, confusion or silly questions.
You also have to be willing to accept your friend's reaction, whether it's ideal or not.
If your friend rejects you but you want to eventually resume being close friends, you have to honor their decision. You should not and cannot punish a person for not having the types of feelings for you that you deem acceptable.
Once you're out of their sight, however, you can feel free to scream into a pillow, eat greasy comfort food or cope in any way that you see fit.
After you have the conversation, find a way to move forward.
If the conversation doesn't go how you planned, you have to find a way to attempt to rid yourself of your romantic feelings.
Give yourself some distance so that you can take some time for yourself to let your wounds heel. Go on dates with other people if you want. No one is saying it will be fun, but it can help.
"Some emotional distance might be necessary," Bennett said. "This is especially true if you find yourself getting jealous of your friend when he or she pursues love with other people. For your own mental health, you might need to step back."
Eventually, you can try to get your friendship back, but don't rush it. Trying in a half-hearted way or before you're ready will botch any earnest attempts you might make at friendship in the future.
If, however, the conversation went well and your friend reciprocated your romantic feelings, congratulations! Hopefully you'll both live happily ever after.
Even in that case though, you will have to figure out how to proceed and navigate this new messy and wonderful world of dating each other. Take it slow and figure out what you're both comfortable with.
Remember that even though you feel like you know everything about this person, dating them will expose you to about 1,000 different things you never thought to even ask about. But honestly, that's the fun.
Source : http://www.thisisinsider.com/what-to-do-if-you-have-feelings-for-a-friend-2017-7