Words by Emily; illustrations by Ana.
It can be the best of times, and it can be the worst of times. It’s pretty much the most inevitable of times! Most of us out there have fallen victim to developing a hardcore crush on a friend.
There are a few reasons why we do this!
First, you have great taste in friends.
It can be easier to crush on someone who is already in your life.
Sometimes our hormones make us easily attracted to LITERALLY EVERYONE.
The vulnerable feelings that come from friendship can be intimate, and while intimacy is part of a romantic relationship, intimacy doesn’t automatically mean a romantic relationship will occur.
Potential relationships can sometimes be better than the realities of actual relationships.
Being quietly infatuated with a friend is bittersweet, but exciting. You’re carrying on a regular friendship with a heart full of delicious secrets, like some sort of spy. You wonder when will be the day that he/she will realize that you’re the one. You long for deep, intimate talks that turn into deep, intimate make out sessions. It’s beautifully excruciating.
But it can’t last. It’s not healthy for you to long for someone without making a peep. It closes you off to relationship opportunities with other people.
Prepare yourself for possibly losing your friend. It’s a bummer, and it’s no one’s fault, but it’s sometimes necessary.
Pull your friend aside one day. Tell your friend how you feel. Keep it simple, unadorned, and short. I won’t give you a script: Just say how you feel as if you were telling a stranger about it.
This step is going to be hard. You risk rejection and losing your friend and the fantasy of a romantic partner you’ve had in your head. But you can’t go on in this limbo state forever!
Give your friend space to sort out their feelings. They may tell you how they feel, or you may have to read their behavior. If they start avoiding you, that’s a sign that your feelings are not reciprocal. If they start straight-up making out with you, that’s a sign that they are! If someone wants to be with you romantically, they will make it known in broad daylight.
If you end up in a romantic relationship with your friend, great. If you don’t, give yourself and your pal some time, and in that time, pursue other people romantically. If your romantic feelings towards your bud have died down a bit and you still want to be friends, let them know. Accept the answer they give you. Friendships, like romantic relationships, require both parties to be enthusiastic participants and not doing so out of pity or obligation.
Either way: GOOD FOR YOU for making your feelings known and being honest with your friend/maybe now significant other! Anybody would be lucky to have you as either. ♦