You’ve been best friends as long as you can remember. He’s the first person you call when you have big news and the shoulder you cry on when you are down.
You are together so often you are practically tied at the hip and you tell each other everything, even the gory details of your dating lives. He has always been the Will to your Grace until one day when you look at him and realize, “I’m in love with my best friend.”
Developing romantic feelings for your best friend is completely natural.
In fact, in some cases it’s to be expected. But, the fact that it is natural, normal and can actually turn into something really amazing doesn’t mean it isn’t scary and confusing. If your thoughts are consumed with feeling in love with my best friend, there are sure to be choppy waters ahead, so you’ll need to know why it’s happening, what signs to look for and how to handle the situation in order to navigate your way through.
Plus you will want to learn some techniques to help make him fall for you. These are a great start.
WHY DID I FALL IN LOVE WITH MY BEST FRIEND?
After realizing the depth of your feelings for your best friend, one of the first questions you will probably ask yourself is, “Why did this happen? Why am I in love with him?” After all, it’s not like you logically decided to develop these feelings; they simply popped up while you weren’t looking.
- Time –While a handful of people might fall in love at first sight, most people develop feelings over time. If you are spending more time with your best friend than you are with other men, it stands to reason that romantic feelings could start to form.
- Mutual interests –Every great couple has shared passions and things they enjoy doing together, whether it’s watching baseball, touring art museums or trying out new restaurants.
If the two of you have known each other long enough to become best buds, you likely share hobbies and interests. These interests provide the backdrop of your friendship. They give you topics to talk about, outings to head to together and something to bond over. Eventually that bonding may turn into something more.
- You are frustrated with dating –The search for real love can be hard. Meeting new people, awkward first dates, trying to make a good first impression and then figuring out they’re a loser can all get tiresome. Don’t you wish there was a way to skip all that and just be with someone you already care about?
If you are fed up with the dating game it becomes easy to fall for your guy friend because you already know you are compatible and, best of all, you are already past the weird “getting to know you” stage.
- He just gets you –Isn’t that what everyone is searching for? It’s what all those online dating site personality profiles and every pro / con list you have ever made comes down to. A lover should understand who you are as a person and accept, and even cherish, both your assets and your faults. But, a best friend usually does the same, so it makes sense that the lines blur.
- It was there all along –It’s possible that the two of you have always been more than friends, or that you have always loved him without calling it that. Whether one of you was in another relationship, or you just weren’t ready for one, love may have been in the background, waiting for the right time to come out of hiding.
I DON’T WANT TO FALL IN LOVE WITH MY BEST FRIEND! WHAT CAN I DO TO STOP IT?
It’s no secret that taking a relationship from friendship to dating can be messy. If you aren’t sure you are ready to make that plunge, it might be worth a shot to try to turn your feelings around. While this separate article on falling out of love is more in depth, these tips will help too:
- Avoid spending time alone –Once you start falling for your best friend, the more time you spend together the deeper the feelings will get. If you want to prevent that, try to limit your time together to group settings where there are other people to focus on.
- Jump into dating someone else –The best way to squash feelings for one person is to try to develop them for someone else. Rather than dwelling on your guy friend, sign up for an online dating site or app, try speed dating or say yes to the next guy who asks you out. Whatever you do, focus on finding love elsewhere.
- Stay busy –Now is not the time to let your mind wander. Too much time to think will lead to imagining the two of you together and worrying about what to do. Rather than obsessing, throw yourself into staying busy. Concentrate on your career, volunteer for a local charity, take up a new hobby and get serious about going to the gym. Pack your schedule and keep your mind occupied.
- Make a list –From his charming smile to the way he’s so good with kids, his attributes are running through your mind fulltime. Shove them aside by making a list of the things you don’t like about him, like the way he forgets to cover his nose when he sneezes or his abysmal fashion sense. In a romantic relationship you’ll have to accept every fault he has, so give yourself a reality check on them right now.
I’M NOT SURE IF I LOVE MY BEST FRIEND. HOW CAN I TELL?
The line between loving someone romantically and really caring for them as a friend can be faint. Before you go any further, you need to examine both how you feel and how you are acting to see if you have stepped over that line.
- You imagine your future together –Close your eyes and imagine your wedding day. Where is he? Is he beaming with pride from the front row or standing beside you as the groom? If you are daydreaming about marriage, a home together and babies, it’s a pretty sure sign that you have crossed from like to love.
Now picture the two of you being physically intimate. Is it awkward or lusty? If it’s the later, your feelings probably go beyond friendship.
- You crave spending time together –In the first stages of love you want to be together all the time. If you are always looking forward to the next time you will see him, secretly planning ways to bump into him and wanting to call him as soon as you part ways, it’s time to admit, “I love my best friend.”
- You are jealous when he is with someone else –Whether it’s someone he’s dating or just another friend he spends time with, seeing someone you love with someone else can be crushing. However, friends don’t mind if they spread their time out.
- You can’t stop thinking about him – The one you love will have a constant presence in your thoughts even when you are apart. If you really love him you’ll probably catch yourself stalking his Facebook page, sending him texts as soon as you wake up and right before you to go sleep, and wondering what he is doing at random moments throughout the day. But, the biggest thing on your mind will be worrying about how he will react when you tell him how you feel.
I FELL IN LOVE WITH MY BEST FRIEND. NOW WHAT?
If, after reading through all the signs, you are saying, “That’s me. I love my best friend,” it’s time to make a plan. Before making a move, you may want to check for these signs to see if he feels the same.
Being honest with him and moving a relationship from friendship to dating can be tricky business, so take your time and think through every step. Remember, even though it’s scary to take the first step, telling him how you feel can be the start of an amazing relationship. In fact, he might just be the last guy you ever date.
- Make sure it isn’t a crush –Crushes are not just for awkward teens roaming the freshman hall hoping to score their first kiss by the lockers. Crushes happen to even the most experienced dating pros and they can feel so much like love that it’s easy to mistake them for the real deal.
If either of you is on the rebound from another relationship, or if you are feeling a bit jealous because he has a new squeeze that he is devoting time to, or if he’s sporting a new style that has you thinking, you love him, the tumble of feelings might be just a passing phase rather than lasting love. If you act on a crush only to find that it fades, you may end up regretting it.
- Think it through and practice –Telling your best friend that you love him is going to take a serious amount of confidence and once you start, you can’t turn back. Don’t blurt it out in a rush of emotion. Instead, take the time to plan what you want to say. Then practice it through a few times so that you feel prepared when the time comes.
- Be truthful but not emotional –This is not the time to beat around the bush or to blubber. Start with a straightforward statement such as, “I fell in love with my best friend.” Tell him that you have thought long and hard about your feelings and this is not a rash decision.
Along the way, stay calm, rational and don’t cry if you can avoid it. Seeing you upset will make him feel guilty and confused and may cause him to say or do something he doesn’t mean.
- Give him time –Ideally, he’ll instantly say he loves you too and you’ll fall into a passionate embrace. But, that’s more of a T.V ending to this drama than a real-life one. Realistically, he may be seeing you in a whole new light and need some time to think things through. If he asks for time to ponder, it isn’t necessarily a bad sign. You’ve already had ample opportunity to focus on this; he may just need a little time to catch up.
- Accept his decision –Hopefully, he will realize that he does love you, or he will want to give dating a try. Either of those could be the happy ending you are looking for. But, he may tell you he doesn’t share your feelings and only wants to be friends. Even though you may feel your heart is breaking, accept his decision with grace and don’t pressure him for more.
He may change his mind later, but that ball is now in his court and it is his turn to make a move if he wants to.
- Don’t expect it to be like your past relationships –Most relationships have a “getting to know you” phase in which you learn about each other. When you date your best friend you already know so much about each other that you skip that part. However, this doesn’t mean that the relationship needs to go into hyper speed.
You’ll be seeing each other in a new way, so take the time to savor it. On the other hand, your first few dates might be extremely awkward as you try to make the leap from friends to lovers. But, if you truly love each other it will pass and you will find your way through.
Falling in love with your best friend can be either be the start of an exciting, rewarding relationship, or it can be one of the most painful experiences of your life.
Either way, it is bound to permanently change the bond you share. Once the feelings start to evolve, it’s hard to shove them aside, so it’s best to tread carefully and put plenty of thought into the situation before jumping in.
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