I Fell In Love With My Best Friend – Now What Should I Do?

Medically reviewed by Arianna Williams
Updated February 21, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

When you find someone that you connect with, it has the potential to significantly enrich your life. This connection may exist in a friendship, a romantic relationship, or both.

But it can be a precarious situation if you find that connection with your best friend growing into something deeper. You will inevitably find yourself falling in love with your best friend. You may be faced with the dilemma of choosing to express yourself to them at the risk of ruining your friendship or keeping those feelings to yourself and potentially face the pain and difficulty that could accompany that. 

Your friendship is valuable to you, but you’re in love

Either way, it’s important to know that falling in love with a best friend isn’t uncommon, and it doesn’t have to end with a painful resolution. The emotions are natural, but it is important to take a step back and consider the big picture before you react. This may begin with assessing whether you’re actually in love with your best friend in the first place, or do you feel that way for other reasons?

Am I in love with my best friend?

Most people are aware that there is a difference between love and lust.

Try to differentiate if you’re simply feeling a strong attraction toward your best friend or if it’s a deeper type of romantic love. It’s possible that your best friend loves you in some way as well, but you need to explore whether there is really a romantic connection there.

Feelings of love can manifest themselves in different ways. For example, if your best friend is constantly on your mind and you find yourself feeling physical attraction to that person, it’s likely a sign of love. 

But now is the time to ask yourself some important questions before moving forward. "Do I love my best friend as a friend or is this feeling something else?" Are your feelings of physical attraction superficial, or do you see yourself settling down with your best friend in a romantic relationship? If so, is there potential for a meaningful romantic relationship between the two of you? Will your bond transition well from being a pure friendship into a romance? 

Be honest in the answers you give, and try to keep them rooted in realism. Simply hoping for the best may end up with both of you getting hurt if you happen to be wrong.

Is it worth the risk of losing your friendship?

Now that you’ve determined that you’re in love with your best friend, you must ask yourself whether it’s worth the risk of losing your deep friendship. Transitioning into a romantic relationship will likely change the dynamic between the two of you to some extent. You may have a solid understanding of each other already, but romantic love is different from platonic love. There is a certain intimacy that is required for a romantic relationship to work, and this can leave you vulnerable.

Realize that it’s possible that, even if you’re both ready and willing to change the nature of your relationship, things may not work out in the long run. If this ends up being the case, then you could completely lose both your friendship and your romantic relationship due to one or both of you getting hurt. How would you feel if you knew that you were going to break your best friend’s heart? What if they were to break yours? 

Similarly, consider the possibility that when you speak your feelings to your best friend, they may not react favorably. Could you cope with rejection if they don’t feel the same way? When addressing these questions, it’s essential to be completely honest with yourself.

Depending on the situation and your level of trust, it may help to consult with your other friends about this problem. If they’re good friends, they may sense that you’re falling in love or are already in love with this person. They may be able to provide you with their honest opinions, as well as provide emotional support.

If you’ve given it a lot of honest, measured consideration and still think there’s a potential for something more than just a great friendship, it might be time to approach them with the idea. Just be sure to put some thought into it before diving headfirst into the conversation. Your friendship is probably very dear to you, and it may be worth contemplating that you might create an awkward situation if you approach it the “wrong” way. 

Your friendship is valuable to you, but you’re in love

How to tell your best friend you’re in love with them

Telling your best friend that you’re falling in love with them may not be easy. You might feel nervous about it, but remember, this is perfectly normal. Most people have a bit of trepidation before confessing their feelings to a person that they care about. 

How to best approach the conversation is up to you but spending time together doing something you both enjoy may help to set the stage and give it the best possible chance of success. After you’ve enjoyed spending some time together, you can choose a moment to talk to them. 

At this point, it’ll be up to you to read them for cues on how to proceed. It’s best to stay calm, but you may find yourself becoming emotional as you speak to them. The feelings may be spontaneous; talking about the strong feelings you have with another person can be challenging – but your friend will likely be understanding.

Once you’ve let them know that your feelings for them have started to change over time, they may have questions and want to engage in a two-way conversation about it. It’s best to speak as candidly as possible and allow them to do the same. 

If the conversation doesn’t go the way you hoped, you may feel relief anyway, if for no other reason than you’ve managed to get it off your chest. In the best case, they may confess they feel the same way, or they’re willing to try having a romantic relationship. Either way, let them know you still value your friendship and would like to maintain it.

Online therapy for relationships

While you may normally speak with a close friend about such things, you may not have another friend that you trust with something this delicate. 

In this case, consider speaking with a professional about your circumstances, particularly so if you’re not completely confident in your decision-making abilities or your ability to stay emotionally balanced in potentially difficult situations. A skilled, licensed mental health professional can help you explore the reasons for your feelings and put them into perspective so you can make the best possible choice. And on the off chance that things don’t work out the way you wanted, a therapist can also help you cope with the potential fallout and subsequent difficult feelings. 

With the rise of online therapy, psychological help has never been easier to achieve. Online therapists like those affiliated with BetterHelp will work with you on your schedule from the location of your choosing. In addition to greater convenience, online therapy is often safer and less expensive than in-person therapy. 

You don’t have to worry about compromising convenience for effectiveness. Recent studies have found that online therapy solutions can be just as effective as in-person traditional therapy for a range of conditions and situations and can have similar long-lasting effects and benefits. 

Takeaway

Telling your best friend that you’re in love with them is a big step and doesn’t come without risk. It’s one of the biggest choices you may make, and like all large decisions, it might merit seeking advice from a professional. 

Whether you decide to tell your best friend that you’re in love with them or keep the relationship the same, therapy can help you gain the confidence you need to make the right choice.

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