It’s a common trope in movies and television—being in love with your best friend. It’s extremely inconvenient to fall in love with your best friend, though at the same time, entirely understandable. Why wouldn’t you be in love with your best friend? They’re your best friend for a reason, right? They’re your best friend because they listen to you so well, they’re always there for you, they make you laugh harder than anyone else, and they complete your life in big, special ways.
Having a best friend—a really close and important best friend—can feel a lot like being in love anyway. In many ways, a best friendship can be longer lasting and more significant than any other relationship in your life.
But falling in actual love with your best friend can be tricky and confusing. Do you act on it, or do you let it lay until it goes away? Do you risk the chance of making your best friend uncomfortable or potentially rejecting you? Do you risk causing a potentially harmful rift in your best friendship?
There is not one right or wrong answer for how you should approach this situation. It will be different for every individual and every friendship.
Here are a few things you can do:
Consider their feelings.
The first and most important thing to do is check in with your own feelings and with your friend’s. Do you have any idea how they feel about you? Are you unsure if your feelings will be reciprocated or are you pretty sure they won’t be into it? Are they currently in a relationship?
There are so many factors that potentially make it a really selfish idea to share your own feelings. If there is a relationship that is very strong and good for your best friend, you should consider keeping your feelings to yourself for the time being.
But if you wouldn’t be affecting anyone else’s life and/or you’re pretty sure your best friend is feeling similarly, speak your mind! It will be hard to get to a place where you feel sure that you should say something, but you will know when you know. You can let the conversation happen organically and feel it out as you go. If it’s going to eat you up, speak your mind, just be aware that the feelings may not be reciprocated.
Ask yourself what you’re hoping for.
When you’re falling in love with a best friend, you may potentially be confused. What do you want from this relationship? Are you just feeling physical attraction or do you think it’s emotional? Is it both? It’s important to try to be clear about what you’re feeling before you act on it. With the chance of potentially shifting your friendship at play, you really need to make sure you’re clear on what you’re feeling before presenting it to your best friend.
Ask yourself how this will affect your friendship.
As important as it is to be aware of your friend’s feelings, it’s really important to not ignore your own feelings. If you are in love with your best friend and you know that for sure, it may mean you’ll have to share your feelings regardless of what happens. But be aware that this may affect your friendship; in fact, you may lose one another if you can’t get past the feelings, or if they aren’t reciprocated. It’s sad, but it’s realistic.
If everything works out and you two are in love with each other, wonderful! But if not, and your admission of feelings affects your friendship, and it may be a long and painful road for you both from there. Regardless of the outcome, just be sure you sit with your feelings and check in with yourself before you make any finalized decisions. It will be better in the long run to give it the time it needs.
Falling in love with your best friend can be magical and wonderful. It can be a beautiful story to tell for the rest of your lives. However, it can also be heartbreaking, disappointing, and cause a huge shift in your friendship forever. Whichever it ends up being, just make sure you have spent the time and energy in figuring out how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you want to do about it. When all else fails, put on My Best Friend’s Wedding and watch someone else go through the same thing.