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  • Olivia Sanders
    Olivia Sanders

    The Friend That's More Than That: What to Do When You're Smitten with Your Best Pal

    We've all been there at some point. You have a great friend that you're incredibly close to - you share everything and can really open up to them. But what happens when your feelings for that friend move past the realm of platonic friendship and into something more?

    The situation isn't as uncommon as you may think, but that doesn't make it any easier to go through. To be attracted to someone and not be able to act on those feelings or get closure in any way is an especially tough spot to be in. It's easy to feel down on yourself when this situation arises, like you’re not worthy enough to receive love or something’s wrong with you. Not to mention the awkwardness that invariably ensues as long as you’re both aware of the unspoken attractions between the two of you. And then you’re left with a plethora of questions: do I tell them or keep it to myself? Should I end the friendship altogether or try to keep things genuinely platonic? How can I stay true to my own feelings without making them uncomfortable?

    In many cases, the best course of action is to remain honest with your friend about how you’re feeling. This is no easy task when you’re dealing with emotions that aren't typically visible or discussed out in the open. If your friend was particularly invested in the friendship and unaware of your newfound feelings, it might be beneficial to give them some time to process and adjust accordingly to the new dynamic of your relationship.

    It might also be helpful to take some time for yourself. Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that you may not be able to be with the person you’re so drawn to, it’s important to look after yourself in whatever ways work best for you. Chances are, you already know the kind of activities that help you relax and stay focused. Identify those and turn to them in times where the tension between you and your friend starts to become unbearable. Taking moments of self-reflection and care are integral to maintaining good mental health in trying and confusing situations.

    It’s also worth keeping in mind that it’s difficult to predict just how the other person will react to your confession. Will it present a welcome opportunity to explore their own burgeoning romantic feelings for you? Or will it put a strain on the friendship, creating an even more frustrating level of discomfort? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer that can apply to everyone’s individual situation. Unforunately, it’s common to experience both confusion and attraction towards someone, without ever having the chance to express these sensations in a respectful and dignified manner.

    It’s never easy to grapple with developing romantic feelings for a friend - but it's important to remember that you don't have to carry this struggle alone. Be sure to reach out to close family and friends for support during this period, and remember to practice compassion and understanding—not only towards yourself, but also towards existing friendships in your life. Above all, be mindful of your feelings and actions, and honor whatever decision you ultimately make.

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