My Best Friend Is in Love With Me! What Should I Do?
I Think My Best Friend Is in Love With Me, What Do I Do?
It is not uncommon for friendships to develop at any stage of life. We find ourselves drawn to certain individuals and come together over shared hobbies, interests, life experiences, culture, religion, geographic location, jobs, etc. So what happens when, over the months and years of getting to know each other, feelings develop?
I'll Share Advice About:
- How to Tell If Your Friend Is in Love With You
- How I Found Out My Best Friend Loved Me
- How I Set Them Free
- How They Found True Love
How to Tell If Your Best Friend Loves You
Here are some tell-tale signs that I experienced over a 10-year friendship that clued me in on my friend's love for me. It may not be the same for everyone, so having an honest and genuine conversation about the course of your friendship is the best way to handle the situation, as hard as it may be:
- They compliment things about you few people notice (your dimples, your laugh).
- They remember your favorite things (how you like your coffee, your dislike for onions).
- They give you gifts on every occasion and go over-the-top.
- They laugh at everything you say.
- They notice when you get a haircut, wear something new, change your makeup.
- They want to get close to your family.
- They offer to help you out with things even when they have other obligations.
- They stand up for you.
- They try to be physically near you.
- They talk to you every day and say things like "miss you," send heart emojis, send photos, like your social.
- They get visibly bothered or jealous when other people hit on you or you talk about a person of interest.
- They criticize or speak poorly of the people have dated.
- They aren't fond of the exes that broke your heart (but are glad you aren't with them).
- They agree with most everything you say or do.
My Story: More Than Friends?
I had a really good friend in college. We both enjoyed camping and being out in nature—hiking almost daily. We took trips all across the U.S. just to get a taste of nature. For many years, I felt like we connected based on our common interests—he never asked for anything more and we were quite content in eachothers' company.
My Friend Hinted at His Love for Me
Over the years (half a decade), my very passive friend would hint at things—he would give me extremely thoughtful gifts, he'd compliment me, he'd stand up for me when I was going through a hard time in my romantic relationship. People would always ask if we were together. It was always a definite "no" from me.
It became apparent over the years that my friend wasn't going anywhere, in fact, I felt like he was waiting for me to make up my mind about him (although he never said it outright). I would think to myself, "Well, we get along so well, we share common interests, why am I not attracted to him? It could be such a good relationship?"
I Realized I Would Never Feel the Same
I started to feel guilty . . . I didn't want to lose our friendship but I knew in my heart I would never fall in love with him in that way. I soon learned that it's not all that uncommon for friends to fall in love. Some friends go on to nurture love, one individual may love the other and it won't be reciprocated, and some friendships will dissolve over the matter when hearts get broken.
I Had to Let Go So That He Could Find Love
I remember being in my mid-20s and hiking with my best friend. We were setting out on one of our usual routes at a small organic farm. Right before we got going, a cute girl around our age came up and started talking to him. I could see the charm in her face—she certainly liked him. After that moment I thought to myself how badly I wished he could find love. Maybe it was selfish of me, but I often wished he could find love so that he wouldn't be waiting for me to change my mind.
I suppose the best thing was to be honest with him. Being a rather passive person, I tried indirectly many times. He kept thinking that it was just going to take me time. I would tell him that I didn't want a relationship, but perhaps that wasn't direct enough. It really broke my heart to tell him all this. There was just nothing I could do to change my feelings towards him.
When I Knew the Feelings Weren't Reciprocated
We were always doing fun things . . . we went to a bluegrass concert with one of his friends. I remember in the middle of the show, he turned around randomly and went for it. He tried to kiss me. Well, he did. When it happened it felt most unromantic. It was a very uncomfortable moment.
Later that month (in December) we were approaching Christmas. He surprised me with a gift. When I unwrapped it, it was a beautiful, high-quality hunting knife (he knew I had wanted one for months since our summer camping trip). The fact he remembered the gift blew my mind. I felt so bad when I handed him a six pack. I realized then that we were both expecting very differen't longterm goals out of our friendship.
There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. You can love a friend, but that doesn't mean you're in love with them.
"If You Love Someone, Set Them Free"
There is a difference between loving someone and being in love. Loving someone is wanting the best for them. Being in love with someone is something next level.
I realized I cared for a loved my friend so much that the best thing I could do was set him free. I knew he was hanging on to the idea of us being together and he would not open up his eyes to other prospective partners around him. In retrospect, I probably didn't handle the situation as maturely as I could've. I still feel bad to this day.
I Started to Date
My sister gave me a match.com certificate for my birthday and I told him about it. I told him I was going to try it out. That was my first attempt at planting the seed. One day, I was out downtown having lunch with someone who I had been talking to for a month, and there at the brewery was my friend sitting 30 feet away just staring at me in shock. It made me very uncomfortable.
A day later we talked and tried to clear the air. I felt really weird about the way he had reacted when he saw me. I also felt guilty . . . for hurting him. But I didn't know how else to handle it.
He Has Moved on and Is Getting Married
Eventually, we began to hang out less and less and I started to enter into a serious relationship over several years. I still feel like a horrible person for it all, but something good came of it. After one failed relationship, he is currently engaged and getting married to a very lovely person I hear. HE FOUND LOVE! I was able to congratulate him and wish him the best.
I Respect Their Relationship
I'm not really sure how much his future wife knows about me and our history of friendship. Out of respect for them, I keep a healthy space. I have nothing but love in my heart for him. I am so glad he has someone who adores him. That's all I could ever want for him because I knew I couldn't be that woman.
Pure honesty may be hard at times, but it is the best way to get to the heart of the matter quite literally.
Tips for Handling the Situation
- Be honest right away. Be honest with your significant other, too (if in a relationship). Get everything out in the open.
- Do not lead them on. Draw a clear line.
- Have a heart-to-heart talk.
- Give them some time alone if they request it.
- Respect their decision.
- Express your gratitude for their friendship and love.
- Do not feel obligated to reciprocate.
Know that these situations can be extremely hard but always follow your heart. These situations take time, honesty, and understanding. Wishing you and your friend the best.
© 2018 Layne Holmes