HEY BESTIE:I have been secretly in love with someone in my friend group for the past two years. He’s everything I want in a man but he has been in an on-again, off-again romance with another friend. I’m scared that by showing him that I’m interested it could blow up in my face and I’ll not only lose him but my other friends in the process. I’ve tried dating other people but they just don’t compare. What should I do?
When you get into a relationship, one of the first things that you want for a lasting relationship is a great friendship. The person you can laugh with, that makes you feel safe and secure, that you can tell stories to, and have a great time with when it’s just the two of you and nobody else around. If this person is already a friend… bonus!
The next thing that you want (and this is a big one) is that the person is really into you… nobody else… just you. If the attraction is one sided, the relationship can become one sided and that’s never a good feeling… you know... when you love and love and love and then don’t feel anything in return from the other person. Yep, that one… so let’s avoid that.
So here’s where the reality check comes in.
When you say that you’ve “secretly” been in love with this person, do you mean to say that seriously nobody else knows or is it that pretty much everyone in your friend group knows but you haven’t had the courage to have the conversation with the person that you are crushing on?
If genuinely nobody knows and you haven’t shown interest in this person, it might be worth a conversation, a catch up over coffee, something… anything to touch base and see if there are any mutual feelings.
If the person already knows, because it really wasn’t a secret, there’s a greater chance that you are simply in the friend zone - someone that enjoys being with you as a friend but doesn’t want what a relationship might bring.
You need to also think about whether this person is truly looking for a relationship – on again, off again, is not a good indication that they are really wanting a relationship.
In addition, although you might think he’s everything you want in a partner, you haven’t had him as a partner and things might change if you did.
Rather than comparing your partners to the expectations of what you think you might have with this person, refocus on your partners. Give them a chance, not a comparison.
Comparisons will rob the people who are trying to date you from having a potentially great relationship with you… and vice versa.
Only you know how much you like this friend and whether there’s any mutual feelings. You will also know if they are a good friend whether asking them if there’s any feelings will damage the ‘friend relationship’ with him.
When you think you’ve figured those answers out and you can gather up some courage, you will know what decision to make. Because after all, this is your life, your feelings and your friend. You are the best person to know how to proceed from here.