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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    How to Explore My Feelings for My Best Friend

    Dear eNotAlone, I desperately need your help! I have fallen for my best friend and I don't know what to do. We have been friends for several years and I thought we had a great relationship without any complications until recently.

    It all started when I was broadsided by emotions I couldn't explain. I realized that I have developed genuine feelings for my friend and it terrifies me. I now find myself caught in a dreamy embrace, captivated by his charm and passionate about our mutual connection- one that pulsates with surges unknown, including those of desire.

    And the worse thing is that he has no idea how I feel, or maybe he does but chooses not to act on it. Nevertheless, it seems as if we are slowly and steadily drifting apart as we walk along our separate paths. I'm scared to express my emotions because I don't want to wreck our friendship.

    What should I do? Should I tell him? Or should I keep my feelings to myself, hoping he will eventually realize them? I don't know what's the right thing to do. But I am afraid that whichever decision I choose, I would lose him one way or another. Please help me!

    * * *

    Friendships are some of the most treasured relationships in life, and it's understandable why you wouldn't want to take a risk with a friend you deeply care about. However, it's important to remember that taking risks can often lead to positive rewards.

    The best thing you can do is to be honest with yourself and your friend. Exploring your romantic feelings doesn't need to mean a complete disruption of your friendship and can sometimes open up new possibilities. It can be difficult to be open with someone when there's a fear of rejection, however, being upfront gives you the best chance for resolution.

    Think about the kind of connection you have with your friend, and the potential pitfalls that could result from voicing your emotions. If you believe there is a possibility of your feelings being reciprocated, then the best move may be to take a chance and be straightforward. Talk to him about your feelings and see what kind of response comes back. Act in a way that shows that you respect both yourself and your friend, so he won't feel uncomfortable or put on the spot.

    On the other hand, if you feel like there is too much risk in telling your friend truthfully and clearly, take some time to evaluate whether it is because of possible rejection or just because of the magnitude of a change in your friendship. It might be reassuring to consider the dynamic that the two of you already have; if you have been close friends for some time and share many of the same interests and values, then this could likely become the foundation of a different kind of relationship.

    Be mindful as you explore your emotions, considering the fragility of your friendship. Use caution and take small steps to test the waters; something like meeting up to talk, or a simple card or letter being a thoughtful way to express your feelings. There's always an option to tell him without explicitly expressing the words "I have feelings for you" if you are more comfortable with that.

    Despite the difficult feelings associated with this situation, it's important to know that you have options. Talk to someone you trust and process your thoughts and feelings. Evaluate what you want out of this situation, and make a plan on how to approach the conversation with your friend. It's not an easy path, but you are strong enough to face whatever happens. Good luck!

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