Full disclosure: personally I haven’t had much experience with this problem (since I grew up with my BFF and we’re like family), but falling in love with a friend can be tricky. Of course you value your friendship with this person (otherwise you wouldn’t be “best friends” or even reading this post if you didn’t care). But if you’ve started to move into that awkward territory where you think you may have feelings for your bestie, you might want to think it through before you take any action.
Sort out your feelings
One of my close cousins gave me some really sound advice about how to tell whether or not you like or like-like a friend. In her words, to put it crudely, the only difference between a friend and a love interest is that you want to make out/have sex with one and not the other. Ask yourself the hard questions. If the thought of just kissing your friend grosses you out or feels wrong for you, that’s a good indication of your true feelings. If you have feelings of physical attraction for your friend, that might just be natural magnetism. Or, it could be something more, and if you feel in your gut that it’s right, then go for it.
Read between the lines
If you’ve decided that you are attracted to your friend, try to figure out whether or not your friend may like you back. This can be difficult because signs are hard to read and easy to misinterpret. If she has made any suggestive hints at being attracted to you (beyond an obviously joking way) or shows some signs of being interested, you might want to take that into consideration. But make sure not to over-analyze and read into everything she does and says to figure out if she likes you or not.
Think it through carefully
Before you try to make a move on your friend, make sure you’ve thought it through carefully. A few of the worst outcomes in this situation are that you reveal your feelings to your friend and she rejects you or feels too weird to be friends with you anymore. Or, she could reciprocate those feelings and you could have a shot at happiness together. The best way I’ve found to think through all your options and outcomes is to make a pro/con list. After thinking through the possibilities, you can make a decision that you’ll be comfortable with.
Take control over your situation
If you think it’ll help you and won’t ruin your friendship, you should tell her how you feel. You may become miserable (if you don’t already feel that way) if you aren’t being honest with your friend about how you feel. You owe it to yourself to pursue what makes you happy. And if you think this is what’s right for you and your friend, then take a risk. Be sincere and tell her how you truly feel. It may sound cheesy, but you don’t really live fully unless you allow yourself take a chance on love when it presents itself to you. And who knows, you might end up with the love of your life after putting yourself out there.
Note: I refer to the friend as a female throughout the post but feel free to switch it to male if necessary!