Dear Internet, let it be known that I’ve fallen into that disconcerting craphole that is having feelings for my best guy friend. The premise of many a romantic comedy (the late Nora Ephron’s When Harry Met Sally for example, and my current favourite: Some Kind of Wonderful), falling for your best friend, regardless of sexual orientation, is something that we all experience at one time or another.
Usually, the realization goes a little something like this: You’re hanging out, and either they do something, or they look at you a certain way…or maybe they magically start smelling really good, and the next thing you know you’ve been hit by the feelings bus. Once you’ve sorted yourself out (as much as one can, in situations like these), you’ll figure out whether this was just a fleeting crush, or something deep and meaningful. If it’s the former: enjoy it! If it’s the latter? You have my deepest sympathies.
If you’re anything like me, you probably go all Sorrows of Young Werther (gross hyperbole, I can assure you) listen to a shitton of The Smiths and mope in your room. Side note: I’m in my twenties, so I can tell you right now, depending on your emotional constitution, that no—it doesn’t get better. You may just be perennially angsty. However with a certain amount of crippling self-awareness, cultural studies courses, and maybe the right therapist, you will eventually acknowledge that your self-torture is a perverse form of negative pleasure. Don’t worry about it, dear readers—revel in it. For a while at least, anyways.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably start overanalyzing your best friend’s behavior with the same mental acuity that one would apply if one was doing a close reading of a really complicated book, or a science experiment…or something that involves…a lot of squinting. That time your friend hugged you? Did they hang on for a millisecond too long? Did their fingers “accidentally” graze your back? These are the type of questions that will have you losing copious amounts of sleep.
Then you, brave love warrior you, start thinking about ways to confess your undying devotion to said person in a manner that is saccharine, romantic, while not being completely creepy. In this case, I’m probably going to say it with a mix tape.
Being slightly verbose, and often misconstrued as “intense”, it’s probably best that if words are indeed involved (as they inevitably are), they’re preferably not my own. While hoping for the ideal situation wherein they stare deeply into your eyes and reveal their own secret, fever-dream induced crush—you’re probably expecting at best, a polite rejection—or at worst, emphatically awkward blinking motions in your direction.
Don’t let the risk of rejection deter you.
If you’re going to take the risk of permanently changing your friendship, you are to be applauded. It’s a really huge step, and a really brave thing to be honest with the person you care about. It could also save you years of crazy.
Couple of tips I learned from doing frantic Google searches entitled “tell your friend you like them”:
1. Keep it simple and heartfelt. Something along the lines of “I really appreciate our friendship, but lately I’ve developed some feelings for you. I don’t want this to come between us, but I understand if you need some time to process this. All I want for you is for you to be happy and to make the best decision for you.” Then see where that goes.
2. Don’t break down in tears, if you can avoid it. You’re telling someone you like them, not confessing to murder.
3. If they do reject you, don’t get mad at them. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.
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