Falling In Love With Your Best Friend
Updated: Sep 10
Remember when that Taylor Swift music video came out for "You Belong With Me" and she was the weird girl in love with her best friend/neighbor? The story played out like it usually does in cliché movies - to keep it short and sweet, the girl always ends up with the guy and they live happily ever after. It feels great until you realize that it's just a movie. Sometimes that happily ever after never happens with that one special person.
If you think about it, falling in love with your best friend makes sense. You always hear people say “marry your best friend”, but they don’t usually mean your actual best friend. They usually mean to meet a partner you are romantically interested in that over time becomes your best friend. The person you go to for everything, the one who knows you best. When you become that close with someone, there is a level of love in the relationship, whether it be a platonic friendship or something more.
But when one friend has romantic feelings, things become… complicated. So what do you do? As someone who has fallen in love with her best friend more than once, I am sharing some mindfulness tips on how to handle the situation when you fall in love with your best friend.
Be Honest With Yourself
The quicker you become aware of how you feel, the quicker you can do something about it. Take some time away from your person to really reflect on what it is you are feeling exactly. Is it a romantic fondness or is it really just a deep love that is platonic? With friends, it's easy to feel bursts of affection that reflect your strong love for that person; it's the product of the deep trust and respect you share.
Or is it a strong physical attraction? If it's this option, you might find yourself imagining romantic, intimate moments with them. Maybe it's a slight feeling of butterflies when you see them. Or flat out seeing them in a different light than ever before.
Consider reflecting or journaling on your situation for a few weeks. Write out every thought, attitude, intention, expectation, and feeling you recognize when you think about this friend and your interactions.
Evaluate The Relationship
Now that you have evaluated the situation from a holistic angle - you need to evaluate where the relationship is internally. It's not quite yet time to have a conversation with the other person. Think about your current relationship; Where do both parties currently stand in the relationship? Is it possible these feelings could be reciprocated or are they more one way? You need to make a decision about how you handle what happens next.
Most of the time, if you are truly best friends, even if the other party doesn't feel the same way you can still salvage the friendship. But sometimes, people can't work past it, or maybe you have expressed how you feel and can't handle the rejection, it's okay to choose to step away for your own mental health.
Regardless of what the outcome might be, you have to go into the conversation with an open heart. Be willing to hear where the other person is coming from with kindness. Don't make assumptions, but you can prepare yourself for possible next steps.
Once you have processed your feelings, where the relationship currently stands, and the potential outcomes, it's time to have the (hard) conversation. It can be terrifying telling someone you care so much about how you feel only to potentially be rejected but potentially is the keyword. You don't know the final outcome of the conversation until it is had.
Before diving into the "talk", set each other up for the best outcome. Make sure you have the conversation in an environment you are comfortable in. Opening up about something so vulnerable may feel better in private for some. Then, let your best friend know the truth about your feelings surrounding the conversation. I find it easier, more often than not, to have hard conversations or express feelings when the other party knows how hard it is for me to speak about it and what my intentions are.
Be honest within the conversation, consider having your journal with you in case you need to reference anything specific. Make sure to let them know where you would like the relationship to go. Once you have said everything you needed to, kindly open the floor to them and allow them to respond and share how they feel. From there you can navigate the best next steps for your relationship.
The Next Steps
This part is a little gray because it all depends on what you've done so far. Out of the many outcomes that could play out, there are three that really stand out. The three options are: (1) explore a romantic relationship, (2) let go of the friendship and move on, or (3) continue to be just friends. Let's break this down.
Explore A Romantic Relationship
This is definitely the best-case scenario since it means that the feelings were mutual. You may think you know everything about your best friend, but the truth is, a different relationship means you might get a different version of them. So, it's important to take it slow and let the relationship blossom. You will still have so much to learn from each other in a new romantic way. Navigating this new relationship can be tricky, but if you are willing to learn and work through it, it can be beautiful.
Stop Being Friends
This is never the outcome you want, but sometimes it may be the best outcome for one or both parties. Maybe things get weird after expressing the feeling, and it's too hard to stay close with someone you love. Or maybe they just don't want to lead you on in any way. Whatever the reason is, remember, nothing is forever. There may be an opportunity to be friends again once the feelings subside.
Continue To Be Friends
This outcome isn't necessarily the most ideal, but you should be proud of yourself for being able to communicate how you feel and navigating a solution that keeps you in each other's lives. Even if the romantic feelings aren't reciprocated, your best friend cares a lot about you and doesn't want to lose you. It shows how valued and respected you and your feelings are. Still a win in our book!
Navigating being in love with your best friend is scary and there's a lot of uncertainty. So if you are currently reading this and are in that position, we completely understand what that feels like. And as much as you will want to click off from reading this, it gets easier and it gets better. Who knows maybe you'll have your Taylor Swift moment and realize the feelings are reciprocated. Whatever happens, we know you're a catch!
Have any tips on how you would handle falling in love with your best friend? Leave them in the comments below.