• Keeping Friends

When a best friend starts to feel like more than a friend

February 29, 2016 | By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
A young woman doesn’t know how to tell a guy that she likes him more than a friend.

QUESTION

Hi,

I’ve been best friends with this guy for five years now. I’m starting to feel different about him. I’m so scared to tell him. I’m afraid it might ruin our friendship. What if he doesn’t like me back? All my friends say we would make a good couple. How do I tell him? Help!

Signed, Bethany

ANSWER

Hi Bethany,

Knowing someone as well as you know this guy and having mutual friends is a wonderful foundation for a relationship. I wondered whether this friend has given you any clues that he might similarly have romantic feelings towards you. That sure would make things easier.

But yes, being the first to express that you like him “more than a friend” involves taking a risk that you’ll feel hurt if he doesn’t feel that way about you but saying nothing can’t be satisfying either.

You could say something like: “I’m starting to feel like you could be more than a friend to me but I wanted to see how you felt because I don’t want to do anything that could jeopardize our friendship.”

If he says he only wants to be a friend, you will be able to decide whether you want to maintain the boundaries of a platonic friendship or sever the relationship. If he shares your feelings, you’ll be happy that you took the chance.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Creating and maintaining boundaries, KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (7)

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  1. Maddie says:

    We just had this topic on the home page. Same advice. Don’t do it. If he was interested, you’d know it. The whole “guys are afraid of intimacy” is wrong. It’s something we women make up to soften the blow of rejection

  2. Salstarat says:

    My advice is DON’T DO IT!! Good friends are very hard to find … harder to find than partners, in fact! If you value your friendship with this man you must realise that once you step over that line, there is no turning back. Usually, a man (or woman) can “SENSE” chemistry and I would bet that he is fully aware that you are attracted to him. The fact that he has not reciprocated and taken the relationship to the “next step” would indicate that he, too, values your friendship more than a sexual relationship. You do not mention if he already has a girlfriend which, of course, would complicate matters even further. If you make the move towards him to deepen the relationship and he is not open to it, he will back right away and you will lose a valuable friend. If it was my choice, I would pick friendship every time. Partners and come and go in your life but when you have a really great friend with whom you can share your life, good times and bad, WOW – that is a gift … don’t throw it away on a sexual infatuation.

  3. Amy F says:

    Before you tell him, know that doing so will change your relationship, though not necessarily in the way you hope, you’ve got to decide whether the risk of potentially alienating him is with the possible benefit of taking the relationship to a romantic level. The best romantic relationships are based in friendship, so you’ve got potential for something special. You need to figure out whether losing the quality and flow of the friendship is worth it, if he doesn’t feel the same way.
    Good luck.

  4. Ben says:

    There’s a TV series that relates to this question I found interesting to watch, “Married At First Sight.” One of the couples who it appeared had no or strained chemistry, the woman grew to really like in a romantic way her partner. One of the other couples where the woman had no chemistry from the start never developed chemistry and they split and the third couple had chemistry from the start and still do. I guess it was a learning opportunity for me to see chemistry to develop over time.

    Bottom line for me is to always be true to who I am. Honesty is always always always best. If someone tells me they are interested in being more than friends and I don’t feel it, I don’t string them along. Even the Bible says “Better an open rebuke than a secret love.” Happy endings are the best so my hope for you is that you risk and find out he has the same feelings for you…

  5. Jared says:

    This type of question always sounds like it’s from a teenager. In my opinion, most adult opposite sex friendships involve one person liking the other as a potential partner more than a friend. Also, when you have romantic feelings for someone, they will surface eventually. You can’t hide them as “friendship” for too long.

    The only way to address this is to ask, “Do you want to try being more than friends?” It’s not rocket science. “Tiger Beat” could have answered this one.

    I wish the friendship doctor would stick to platonic relationships since there are innumerable websites that would address a romantic problem like this.

    Just my two cents on this one.

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