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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    Should I Take a Risk and Ask Out My Best Friend?

    Dear eNotAlone: My problem is that I'm in love with a very close friend, but I'm not sure what to do about it. My problem is further complicated by the fact that my friend seems to reciprocate my feelings, yet neither of us have brought up or discussed any kind of romantic relationship. It's almost like we are both too scared to take any action. I'm banking on his feelings for me as I feel that it may be my only chance to find love. I feel trapped between taking a risk, crossing that boundary and potentially losing a best friend or never having the opportunity to pursue a real relationship. Is this something I should take a risk for or just accept as it is?

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    Are you in love with your best friend, but unsure how to take your relationship to the next level? Pursuing romance with a close friend can be daunting, but with a little risk and open communication, it's possible to spark meaningful connections.

    To begin, decide whether you are truly prepared for the outcome – both positive and negative – that could arise from your quest for intimacy. If your friend returns your feelings, a healthy relationship could blossom. But if rejected, you might lose a once trusted confidante. If you are willing to open yourself up for the possibility of such challenges, proceed with caution; love is a delicate subject and revealing your feelings may result in tension or awkwardness that could impact your friendship.

    Once you've accepted the potential risks, it's time to explore the feasibility of a relationship with your friend. Observing their behavior around you is key to determining if they feel the same way. Look for signs of physical attraction, such as the puppy dog look, nervous laughter, or perhaps lingering touches. Pay attention to what your friend says; do they vocalize thoughts of admiration or flattery? Some nonverbal communication, like playful banter and intimate eye contact, may also be indicative of underlying affection. According to psychiatrist Larry Siegel, such cues are important steps to recognizing "emotional interdependence." compare experiences. Do you two find yourselves lingering at local bars or sharing extra meals? Making similar plans or siding with the same hobbies could be reciprocated interest. If these resonances are present, you may be able to move ahead.

    If viewing the situation objectively still leaves you in the dark, the only reliable method for seeking confirmation is confessing your feelings. Though uncomfortable, conversations of the heart may be the most rewarding and efficient means of communicating. Keep in mind however, if emotions are shared and a friendship begins to evolve, additional discussions regarding expectations and compatibility may be beneficial in steering the direction of the relationship. If after speaking you realize the feeling isn't mutual or one of you does not wish to pursue the relationship further, accept gracefully. Without compromising the prior nature of the friendship, choose to move on in an amicable manner.

    Taking a risk and expressing one's desire for romance with a friend is no easy feat. Discerning the signs of attraction and communicating openly can be crucial to the success of any relationship. Though results may be uncertain, remember that the courage to assess, discuss, and tackle a new kind of relationship with a beloved can be an adventure like no other.

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