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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    How Can I Move Forward After Realizing That I'm In Love With My Best Friend?

    Dear eNotAlone: I have been friends with my best friend for a long time, she's been there for me through thick and thin, but recently I realized that I am in love with her. It's like all of my feelings for her just suddenly hit me and it was too late to do anything about it. It's like my heart has been longing for her all this time without me knowing it. Now I feel so confused and scared, how can I make things go back to how they were? I'm not sure if I should tell her my feelings or keep them hidden away. I need advice on how to move forwards in this situation in order to keep our relationship as strong as possible.

    * * *

    Falling in love with your best friend can be a tricky situation to process. It can often be overwhelming and intensely confusing. You may be overwhelmed by the complex emotions this experience is causing and confused about what steps to take next. Fortunately, you are not alone in this. There are ways of navigating this experience and making the best of it.

    The first thing that you need to remember is that it is okay to feel confused and overwhelmed. Human emotions are never black and white and can be difficult to manage. Feeling intense confusion and turmoil is completely valid and normal. You don't need to suppress your feelings but it's also important to not act out of impulse. You need to give yourself time and space to reflect on what's happening and identify what your wants and needs are.

    It is important to decide if and when you should tell your best friend how you feel. It is understandable that you may be terrified of facing the situation head on and potentially damaging your relationship. It is possible that you could come out of it even stronger, but that is something you need to think carefully about before taking any action. The risk and potential outcome of telling your best friend will be different depending on their orientation as well as their own feelings towards you.

    If you decide to tell them, then you need to think about how to approach the conversation. You don't want to make them uncomfortable or verge on disrespect. Being direct, yet considerate and mindful of their feelings, is always the best way to go. It's also important to remember to be patient and not push for any type of answer from them. You may be tempted to, but doing so will only put unnecessary pressure on them.

    On the off chance that your feelings are not reciprocated, it is essential that you accept it gracefully and respectfully, no matter how hard it may be. It's alright to take some time to process it, but not so much that it affects your relationship with them. Think carefully before you reach out to them again, and always remember to own your feelings and be honest with them.

    Your best friend loves and cares for you and may understand the situation better than you think. However, if you feel that confiding in them would cause too much tension, then it is perfectly alright to speak to someone else, either a therapist or an experienced friend who can lend an ear. Don't let your hesitancy to talk cloud your judgement; seek guidance if you need it.

    Above all, remember to stay true to yourself and maintain your self respect regardless of how your best friend responds. At the end of the day you can only control how you react to what's thrown at you, act accordingly and remain positive no matter what the outcome may be.

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