The feeling came on like a tidal wave. You’ve been best friends forever and then, all of a sudden, things seemed to change. You now see your best friend differently. Now, they are more than someone to talk to about everything. Now, all you can think about is kissing them.
This is the life of falling in love with your best friend. While this can be exciting, it is also scary. It could mean the end of a lifelong relationship if it doesn’t work out. You don’t even know if they feel the same way. What if they don’t?
It can be tricky navigating this type of relationship. Yet, some of the most beautiful marriages stemmed from becoming best friends first. Marital partners are supposed to be best friends, so you already have a leg up on that.
Those who want advice to work through this situation should follow these five guidelines:
- Take Your Time
There is no need to rush. They will be there tomorrow and the next day. While you don’t want to wait too long either, it doesn’t hurt anything to take some extra time to evaluate your feelings and make an assessment if this is a relationship you should pursue romantically.
- Look at the situation
Your feelings could have bad timing. Maybe you’re in another relationship or your best friend is. Pursuing them romantically now would only confuse everything and make a mess out of it. Wait and see if there are relationship changes first. There are certain societal rules you need to follow also. If they are married, or if you are, then you should not pursue a romantic relationship under any circumstances. Sometimes, problems in marriage lead people to fantasize about others they have a close relationship with. Work on your marriage instead of putting energy into a new relationship.
- Watch for signals
This is important to understand how they feel about you. There will always be signals of interest, even subconscious ones if there is any. It could be a touch or a flirty comment. A signal could be anything. The way to determine a signal is to evaluate it against your best friend’s normal behavior. If it differs, then it is a real signal.
- Try flirting
Flirting can be considered a risk, but it’s one worth taking. You can try something simple to see their reaction. If they ask what you’re doing, act surprised, or somewhat uncomfortable, you can always say you were just kidding. Flirting is the only real way you can find out how they feel. If they take your signal and flirt back, it’s a great way to move forward with a romantic relationship.
- Be honest
At some point, you will need to have a conversation. You can’t hold back your feelings forever and doing so would just make things awkward between you. There’s no doubt your best friend has already noticed that you treat them differently or maybe has picked up on some flirting cues, but chose to ignore them. This could be out of awkwardness or maybe a fear of misreading your signals.
There is a certainty your relationship will become strained the longer you wait to address it.
There are two possible results from such a conversation. One is that they are in love with you too and haven’t told you. If that is the result, then awesome! The other is that they don’t feel the same way. In that case, you can tell them you appreciate their honesty and don’t want this to hurt your friendship. After all, your friendship is the most important thing to you and you don’t want to lose that.
If that is the case, it may take a few weeks to get back to normal but it will happen. Don’t worry if they distance themselves from you for a while. They just need time to process the conversation in their heads. Eventually, you will reconnect. This time, it will be on a firm footing without crazy feelings.