If you’re freaking out about the fact that you’re falling in love with your best friend, relax. This is what you should do once you know how you feel.
It happens all the time. Two people have such a great friendship that it ends up growing into something more. This is not just something that happens in romantic movies, either. I have experienced this firsthand, and let me tell you, I was freaked out. Finding out that you’re falling in love with your best friend can be one of the hardest realizations to handle.
I was terrified. This person was my best friend. How could I possibly be in love with him?! And what did that mean for our friendship? I was so afraid that it could potentially ruin our friendship that I didn’t even say anything for a long time, and I regret this.
Signs that you’re falling in love with your best friend
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out if you’re in love with your best friend. However, you could also be so blinded by the friendship that you don’t even notice the signs that are right in front of you.
If you get nervous before you see them, fix your hair or clothes, check your breath when they’re around, or catch yourself flustered after seeing how good they look on any given day, then you’ve fallen for them. If you start having feelings things that you’ve never felt around them before, it probably means you like *or even love* them.
What to do after falling in love with your best friend
Although it’s often your first reaction, panicking is the exact opposite of what you should do. You can’t freak out about something like this because it’s really not that big of a deal. You already love them in a friend way, so adding romantic love isn’t all that different.
However, there is a certain process that you should follow when you realize you’re falling in love with your best friend. You can’t just hide it, but you can’t just blurt it out, either. Instead, try taking these 10 steps.
#1 Digest your feelings. Before you do anything else, take a moment to really think about how you truly feel. Are you just being emotional? Are you jumping to conclusions based on something ridiculous? Sit back for a week or so and just let your feelings develop and become clearer to ensure that this is really something you want to act upon. [Read: Are you really in love? 21 signs to decode that fuzzy feeling]
#2 Talk to a different friend. Obviously, you don’t want to talk to the person with whom you’re supposedly in love. So open up to your second best friend and get their opinion. When I did this, she rolled her eyes at me and said, “Well, duh,” as if she knew all along.
This can give you an unbiased opinion as to whether or not your feelings are confused or real. And they can offer support and advice that might make a huge difference for you.
#3 Wait. Have you ever looked at someone a certain way one night when they’re looking hot, and then you suddenly have feelings for them? But then the next day, they do something and you’re like, “Yeah, that’s why I find you disgusting,” and POOF your feelings are gone? Well, it could be that type of feeling instead of actual love.
Let it sink in to see if your feelings are fleeting or if they stay pretty constant. You wouldn’t want to tell them that you have feelings for them only to realize a week later that they weren’t real. [Read: 17 clear signs you and your friend should be dating already!]
#4 Determine if they have feelings for you. Now’s the time to do some investigating and decoding of their body language. Find out if they like you, too. Chances are, there’s some kind of chemistry between you two if you like them and they’re your best friend.
If they’re getting flirty, looking extra good around you, and even initiating more hangouts, they could be feeling the same way. Take your time determining this, though, and don’t jump to conclusions either way. [Read: 20 unmistakable signs your friend is crushing on you too]
#5 Decide if you’re going to tell them. You have to make a choice now. Are you going to tell them how you really feel, or do you want to hide it inside for… ever? I personally believe that you should tell them. After all, you never know what could potentially come of having this conversation.
However, if you feel that you want to protect yourself and keep things the way they are, just keep it to yourself. Be warned, though, if you do keep it to yourself and they get a boyfriend or girlfriend, it could be painful. [Read: How to tell someone you like them and win them over]
#6 Pick the right time to talk about it. This is a really heavy topic. You can’t expect them to sit and listen to it at a party or when they’re really busy. The best time for this is just when the two of you are alone, spending time together like normal.
During a movie night, a walk, or even at dinner sometime are the best times to do this. Make sure they’re in a good mood and are willing to listen to you fully.
#7 Keep an open mind. Not everything is going to go your way in life, and this *may* be one of those times. You have to have an open and calm mind when you tell them that you’re in love with them. You should always be prepared for the worst… but also the best. Don’t forget to hear them out if they have anything to say about it. [Read: How to ask a friend out without risking your friendship]
#8 Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t just tell them that you think they’re attractive, and don’t leave little hints here and there. This will confuse them and will make them have a harder time understanding what’s going on.
Just be honest with your friend and tell them the entire thing. When you realized it, why, what your expectations are, and where you might like to go from here if feelings were to be reciprocated. [Read: 15 very obvious signs of flirting between a guy and a girl]
#9 Don’t act any differently around them. They’re your best friend. They know the real you, and that’s the person they like. Don’t start acting differently around them just because you like them. Sure, you can wear more makeup, shave a little nicer, and put on some actual pants when you hang out, but never change how you act just because you’re falling in love with your best friend. [Read: 15 ways to tell if someone likes you without asking them directly]
#10 Realize that it doesn’t mean the friendship is over. When it happened to me, I was most terrified about whether or not it would ruin our friendship. However, that turned out to be an irrational fear that I didn’t need to have.
Realize that just because you’re falling in love with your best friend, the friendship doesn’t have to be over. If anything, it just solidifies your relationship even more.
Falling in love with your best friend can be a very scary thing, believe me. But following this list of what to do after you realize your true feelings, you’ll manage the situation with ease.