What Can You Do If You Love Your Best Friend?

Updated November 2, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you’ve realized that you have romantic feelings for your best friend, you may wish to take some time to consider whether you’d like to tell them about those feelings or continue the friendship as usual. Perhaps you tell them about your feelings, and they respond positively. In this case, it may be best to take the relationship slowly. Alternatively, maybe your friend does not share your feelings. In this situation, you may need to take some time to cope with any emotions that arise. It can help to focus on self-care and self-improvement. Speaking with a licensed therapist through online therapy may also be helpful.

Being In Love With Your Best Friend Can Be Confusing.

How To Tell If Your Feelings Have Changed To Romantic Ones

You may wish to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you spending more time than usual thinking about your friend?
  • Do you suddenly feel nervous around them?
  • Have you been looking for opportunities for physical connection, such as placing a hand on their shoulder when they’re having a hard day?

While these feelings can be common in platonic relationships, they could also be signs that you have developed romantic feelings for your friend.Friends often share many things, and it's not uncommon for close friends to want to be together much of the time. They often think, act, and feel the same way in similar situations.

However, if you are developing romantic feelings for a friend, you mayfind yourself looking at them differently. Rather than wanting to hang out as usual, you may find that you want to plan more structured activities or dates that your friend may find appealing. You may also find that your thoughts have shifted from friendship mode to romantic fantasizing mode. You may even find yourself jealous if your friend is in a romantic relationship or looking to enter one.

Are These Feelings Normal?

You may feel ashamed of these feelings, but there is no need for this. It can be completely normal for feelings toward others to change. In some cases, developing feelings for a good friend can lead to a happy and healthy romantic relationship.

However, whenthese feelings are not reciprocated, things can become challenging. Considering the transition from platonic friendship to a romantic relationship can be tough.You may worry that the friendship will change if your friend doesn't have the same feelings for you. You two may havebeen close for a long time, and you probably don’t want that to go away.

While many great relationships began with a solid platonic friendship, this is not always the case. Friendship dynamics canchange greatly when romance enters the picture or when one friend reveals feelings that aren't reciprocated by the other. Some friendships may be able to handle the change, while others may not.

Therefore, it maybe helpful to talk to another friend, a family member, or a therapist before baring your soul to the person you have feelings for. It may also be beneficial to check out books and other resources that can provide information on whether this could be true love or just a great friendship.

What If They Say Yes?

Relationships that start with a solid friendship as a foundation tend to have a higher success rate than relationships based on initial physical attraction. This may be because you are falling for someone not because of their good looks, but rather because you love who they are as a person.

You likely have a good foundation as best friends, and you probably already know and love each other just the way you are. In addition, you may beaware of their flaws and insecurities, and vice versa, because you’ve known them for such a long time.

Since you are already friends, you may be tempted to take things at a faster pace than usual when broaching the subject of romance. However, it may not be best to fast-forward through the relationship, even if it is true love. You may want toexercise caution, especially if you’ve known one another for a long time and are treading into uncharted waters.

While you have known each other as friends, you have not yet known each other in a romantic relationship. This means that there are things you may still need to learn about each other, like how your partner enjoys being kissed or if they are comfortable with public displays of affection. There will likely be a learning curve for this new phase of the relationship, and it can be a good idea to take things slowly as you learn. Remember, this person is likely your friend for a reason, and if you take things too fast, you could jeopardize an otherwise great friendship.

Being In Love With Your Best Friend Can Be Confusing.

What If They Say No?

A “no” can be disappointing and upsetting, and your friend may feel uncomfortable after you express your feelings.It’s possible your confession could make the friendship awkward or complicate things. However, this doesn't mean you can't remain friends. It’s possible that you and your friend could have an honest conversation about the friendship and where you both would like to see it go. Try not to lose hope if a romantic relationship is not in the cards. There was likely a connection between you that made you friends in the first place, and it’s possible that a good friend connection will still be there. Unrequited love can hurt, though, so feel free to take the time you need to cope and heal.

How To Cope With Rejection

Being rejected by someone you have feelings for may be a possibility. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some strategies that could help you cope.

Realize That It Isn't A Reflection Of Who You Are

Rejection can affect us on a personal level, but it rarely has a personal motive. Some people maybe attracted to you, and others may not. This can be true of everyone, from a stranger on the street to a close friend. This doesn't necessarily mean that there is something wrong with you that needs to be fixed, and itmay not negate the deep friendship that you and your friend have. Try not to let rejection make you feel like any less of a person.

Focus On Self-Care

It's amazing what a little pampering can do when you're facing rejection. You may wish to spend some time on yourself—go shopping, have a massage, or find music that carries you through your emotions. Self-care can be a great reminder that our relationship with ourselves may be the most important one of all. It can also be an excellent way to set yourself up for healthy love in the future.

Turn To Self-Improvement

When we're focused on rejection, we often neglect self-growth. To keep your mind busy, it may be helpful to work on something that improves you as a person. Consider taking some classes, starting a fitness routine, or even learning a new language, rather than letting your strong feelings drive you into a season of pining and sitting around. By using your time productively, you'll likely heal faster and move on more quickly from the rejection.

Get The Support You Need

Opening up to a friend about your feelings can be a vulnerable situation, and you may also feel vulnerable speaking with a therapist face-to-face. You may find it more comfortable to try online therapy, where you can meet virtually with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have an internet connection.

Therapy can help people work on self-esteem, self-worth, and interpersonal relationship challenges, and new research finds that internet-delivered therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy. This study, conducted by Brigham Young University researchers, found that, aside from its efficacy, technology-based therapyoffers other benefits, including “lower cost, no travel time, easy access, no waitlists, and trackable progress.”

Takeaway

Handling romantic feelings for your best friend can be challenging. If you tell them how you feel and they feel the same way, you may be able to enter a happy, healthy romantic relationship together. However, if they don’t reciprocate your feelings, you may need to take time to cope with the rejection. Online therapy may be able to help you work through your emotions and offer guidance as to how to maintain your friendship.

For Additional Help & Support With Your Concerns

Speak with a Licensed Therapist
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.