If you’ve developed feelings for one of your best friends, you know how scary it can be. Should you tell your friend you’re in love with them? What happens if they don’t love you back – will you lose their friendship? Get the answers to these questions and more. (The only answer I don’t have is whether or not they like you back. You’ll have to find that one out on your own.)
Make Sure You’re Sure You’re Really in Love
There’s a difference between having a passing crush on someone and truly being in love. For instance, if:
- You’re on the rebound from another relationship
- Your friend is on the rebound and acting vulnerable
- Your friend got a new style and has been looking extra cute lately
- Your friend just started dating someone, and they’re spending less time with you
- Someone said that you and your friend would make a cute couple
- You and your friend became close only recently
Then you might just have a temporary crush on your friend. Give it a couple of weeks and see if those feelings disappear on their own. If they do, you’ll be relieved that you never said anything.
If It’s the Real Deal, Is It the Right Time?
Even if you’re sure of your feelings, you shouldn’t necessarily reveal them to your friend. Don’t drop the bomb under any of these circumstances:
- If they’re dating someone, it would be unfair to sabotage their relationship by sharing your feelings.
- If you’re in a relationship, you need to decide who’s more important to you. If your friend wins out, then you should break up with your bf/gf no matter what. It’s not fair to date someone who’s only 2nd place in your heart.
- If your friend’s going through some major stress – like if they’ve got a big game or test coming up, or if they’re coping with the death of a relative – hold your tongue until their stress has passed. It would be selfish of you to throw them one more bowling pin to juggle.
How to Tell Your Friend That You Love Them
So you’ve decided that you really do love your friend and that the timing is right. Here are some tips on how to tell them the big news:
- Don’t just blurt it out in the middle of a conversation. Plan on a time and place where you can be alone with them, face to face.
- Look in their eyes and drop the bomb with a short statement like, “I’m beginning to like you as more than a friend.”
- Don’t use the word “love,” even if you’re sure you’re feeling it. “Love” is a big word, and you might scare your friend off whether they have feelings for you or not.
- Keep your tone upbeat. If you act like you’re revealing something horrible to them, they might react like it’s bad news.
What If They Don’t Like You Back?
By having this conversation with your friend, you’ve made the decision that it’s more important to reveal your feelings than to live a lie by hiding them any longer. Even if your friend doesn’t like you back, you’re still better off than you were before, because now you know how they feel about you. (I know, I know…it doesn’t feel like much of a consolation prize.)
Your friend is probably hoping that you’ll both be able to forget this conversation ever happened and go back to being friends. That might not be so easy for you. If it hurts too much to hang around your friend, take some time to get over your. You might be able to be friends again down the road, but don’t rush it. Do what’s best for your heart.