Making friends is easy, but keeping them can be difficult. Relationships are complex, and maintaining friendships can be confusing at times, especially when romantic feelings get involved. What if they want to be more than “just friends” with you? How do you handle the situation if the feelings aren’t reciprocated? What if you feel the same way?
First, consider whether this friendship is long-term. Serious feelings take time to build. If they are a new friend, and they are coming off flirtatious, it’s an obvious sign that they want something more. And if you’re not into it, you simply shut down that energy with a point-blank conversation. You should explain to them that you are both new to one another and that you want to get to know them…on a friendship level.
For long-term friends, things are a bit more complicated, and feelings run a lot deeper. If you begin to suspect they have a crush it may come as a surprise to you, but the comforting part is that you know each other very well by now. Remember that intimate relationships take time to develop, even if you have been friends for a long time. You shouldn't rush into anything, even if it feels like you’re ready, and especially if you’re being pressured. Before you jump into a relationship, and risk losing a long-term friendship, try dating them first. No need to make things official up front. And if you’re not feeling it, just let them know. If you have a strong friendship, it should be able to survive – and be stronger for it!
If you’re confused whether your friend is actually interested, consider how they speak to you and act when you’re around. Are they always complimenting you? Are they super touchy? Do they plan “coupley” activities to do together? Do you find them staring at you a lot? If you feel the same way about this person, you should find yourself enjoying this romantic attention. Sometimes, it can be awkward to move from a friendship to a relationship, especially if you’ve been platonic for a while, and you’re putting your friendship at risk. It can be scary and exciting at the same time! I always believe that your partner should be your best friend first, but not every relationship begins that way, and that is fine too! You can also become best friends over time.
When it comes down to it, you either have to set boundaries and expectations about how your friendship will move forward, or express interest in a budding romance. Should you text them? Should you meet up and tell them in person? It’s honestly up to you and your comfort level! If you get nervous with face-to-face contact, text messaging is a great way to feel out the conversation. I personally prefer it. It's more comfortable than facing the person in public. But you don't have to do this. The two of you are friends; you should feel safe sharing how you feel. Having a deep conversation about your feelings will strengthen your bond, whether you choose to remain friends, or pursue something more.
Written by: Audre ArnettInstagram: @infinityaudreee