Have you ever fallen in love with a friend?
Falling in love with a friend is one of the harder human experiences to have. It happens to a lot of people and there’s no way to tell at the beginning how it’s going to go.
If you think you might be falling in love with your friend, first of all, don’t panic—the friendship is not doomed to failure if nothing more develops.
Signs you might be in love with a friend
Earlier, you thought about this person once in a while, in an amicable but mostly neutral way. Now you’re thinking about them much more often and with a new intensity. When you’re with this friend, you might feel shy and confused, instead of the ease that used to be there.
If you’re falling in love with your friend, you’ll probably experience jealousy if they tell you they have a date. You might start asking other mutual friends about this person’s life and habits, in hopes to curry their favour.
Pros and cons of loving a friend
a romantic relationship with a brand new person, when love grows for a friend, it tends to have a deeper level. You already know a lot about them and presumably, they know a lot about you too. You get to skip the potentially awkward period where two people flounder about finding mutual interests and just do what you enjoy together. This might just be a scaled back version of former group social events.
But there are cons to loving a friend also. First of all, if you two run in a tight social circle, you won’t be able to introduce each other to anyone new (and, depending on how close your group is, rumours can start flying fast, especially if the relationship starts to go sour).
Another con is that when you and a friend pair off, your other friends may not support you as a couple—this happens more than you’d think.
Do you tell or not tell?
There is the possibility that your friend will feel the same way and you’ll enter into a relationship with a strong foundation. But the other side of this coin is that they won’t feel the same way and you’ll permanently wreck the friendship, possibly messing up other social connections in your mutual circle.
And if this friend is a co-worker, give some thought to your career and comfort level at work before you reveal your feelings.
It comes down to this: before you decide to tell your friend that you’re in love with them, you must be prepared to lose the friendship. It’s a real possibility. Even if they say, “No, I don’t feel the same way but I still want to be friends,” the friendship is going to change.
You might start to resent them for not loving you back. They might decide to keep their distance hoping you’ll lose interest (or feeling a little weird about things, or both).
So do you tell or not tell? Honestly, it depends on how strongly you feel. When you look back at your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. If you can’t go another day without confessing your feelings, you probably ought to tell your friend. The friendship would have started getting weird regardless, because of the new energy involved.
But if what you feel is more of an infatuation, give it some time. A good friendship is hard to come by, and strong emotions change like weather—you might wake up in a few weeks in love with someone else.
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Clinton Power is a relationship counsellor and Gestalt therapist with over a decade of experience helping individuals and couples move out of relationship pain and create great relationships. Get Clinton’s FREE report: 10 Tips for Moving Out of Relationship Pain, by clicking the button below.
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Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.