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Never Befriend Someone You Love: The Golden Rule of Infatuation

Updated on September 13, 2017
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I study neuroscience and am fascinated by infatuation; it's such a strong, mysterious thing, yet it is entirely scientifically explainable.

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"I Can't Date Them, but at Least I Can Be Their Friend!"

Unfortunately, many of us go through the experience of falling into infatuation with someone that we cannot date. In this situation, you must move on and accept that you will never be with this "special" person, however magical and wonderful your connection with them is.

Many of us make the mistake of thinking that a close friendship with our crush is the "next best thing." We do all that we can to get as close as possible to them, because the thought of them leaving our life is agonizing, even if we know that a friendship isn't truly what we want.

It is incredibly painful to develop strong feelings for someone, yet be unable to express it to them physically and emotionally. Here are some reasons why befriending someone that you are intensely infatuated with is a terrible idea that will only lead to anger, jealousy, embarrassment, and misery.

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1. You'll Act Like You're Dating Them

Every time you meet this "friend", your heart will flutter and you'll be sure to be looking your best. You'll prioritize them over all your other friends, doing all that you can to spend one-on-one time with them.

This is because you desire more than friendship with this person, and kidding yourself that they're your "platonic friend" will not put an end to this. Your brain has formed romantically-driven pathways which are only growing stronger every time you see them.

You do not see this man or woman as a friend, and won't be able to do so unless you step back and distance yourself. Infatuation has a shelf-life, naturally fading after a few months; however, if you're regularly having philosophical conversations and coffee dates with this person, you will only fall harder in love.

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2. You'll Often Feel Embarrassed, Depressed and Angry

When striving to stay as close as possible to someone that you love, you may be forgetting one fundamental thing: a friendship with this person will make you feel terrible. It may provide you with some sugary highs, but these will be followed by harrowingly low moods and pain as you return to reality and remember that they only view you platonically.

The embarrassment and feelings of low self-esteem will be unrelenting. You'll spend a lot of your time hyper-focusing on your own body language and speech patterns, desperately trying to stay within the illusory "friendship" boundaries that you are trying to maintain. You will struggle, giving away your true feelings, and then will suffer more pain and guilt.

It's also imperative to remember that the anger will be soul-destroying. Even if you dissociate from it, you will feel a lot of underlying resentment that this person is interested in/dating other people.

All the above brings to light exactly why you should notbe friends with someone that you love. Unrequited love will cause you to experience an emotional turmoil, almost like you're grieving a family member.

Is it really a true friendship if you are desperate to be with this person romantically and are constantly unhappy, jealous and disillusioned?

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3. Your Real, Platonic Friends Will Seem Boring To You

In short, befriending someone that you are romantically interested in will warp the way that you define a "friend". Normal friendship obviously doesn't involve any romantic highs or undertones, so your connections with your existing friends will seem extremely dull in comparison to what you have with this person.

As I explained above, you will act and feel like you are dating them, going through all the same highs and lows as someone in a new relationship (due to dopamine and serotonin).

Your platonic friends will not bring you the same ecstasy, understandably. It is dangerous to blur the lines between friendship and romance for this reason; you will become bored of your friends, and will be even more likely to only want to spend time with this person.

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4. The "Friendship" Will Always Be Unbalanced, And You'll Want More

Unfortunately, this person that you adore does not feel the same way about you. They probably enjoy spending time with you, and the connection is genuine in that sense, but they will never make as much time for you as you will for them.

Aware of the disparity between their feelings and yours, you will constantly try and morph yourself into a subservient version of this person (which, by the way, will only make you appear oddly clingy).

It is agonising to adore someone and want to show them the most intense forms of love and affection. However, a harsh truth about us humans is that we detest intensity when it is unrequited on our part. Imagine one of your platonic friends suddenly becoming possessive and intense in their emotions. You may pity them, bit it would become irritating after a period of time and even creepy.

The friendship will obviously always be balanced since they are not in love with you too. In fact, nothing about this connection is a friendship. You'll always linger when they smile at you, or hug you, and you'll always want the conversation to become a little more intimate and philosophical. They, on the other hand, will slowly grow sick of you as all they will see is a lovesick, unhappy, clingy puppy.

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5. The Obvious: You Will Never Be A True Friend To Your Crush

While you should be compassionate to yourself when faced with an emotional situation like this, you must also consider the other person in the equation. By choosing to befriend/remain friends with your crush, who you have deep feelings for, you are dragging them into a rather artificial, unhealthy connection.

They are deserving of close friends who wholly support them and their lifestyle, and you, unfortunately, do not qualify for this position. You will never truly be there for them when they need relationship advice, or a hug because they've failed a test, since you will be unable to hide the extent of your jealousy and desire. We shouldn't be attracted to our friends, really!

You will also be a suboptimal friend in many other ways, all stemming from the issue that you are infatuated with them. In some ways, you are hanging onto this "friendship" to be a bit opportunistic; it could even be said that you are acting slightly maliciously in trying to stay close to them. You aren't actually interested in hanging out with them platonically, you would hate to see them happily dating someone, yet you insist on remaining their "friend".

A good friend wants to spend time with you, but does not obsess and become jealous when you date someone or make other friends. This is because a good friend is not someone who is holding romantic intentions with you.

Have you ever secretly loved a friend?

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© 2017 Lucy

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 12 days ago

      Life in the "friend zone" is pure torture for those who find themselves in that predicament. Essentially what causes this is a lack of courage to face rejection.

      Deep down they're hoping for a "When Harry Met Sally" movie moment where the (friend) realizes all they've ever wanted is right beside them. It's easier for an ex lover to become a best friend than it is for a best friend to become a lover. That's reality!

      In other instances they're hoping there will be a "moment of weakness" when the person is distressed enough to turn to them for physical and emotional comfort one night.

      Choosing to hang out with someone you have a crush on while listening to them talk about dates and lovers or being a shoulder for them to cry on is an act of insanity.

      As someone once said: "Suffering is optional."

      Go after what you really want and if you're rejected move on.

      In a world with over (7 Billion people) rejection means: Next!